Bruno Angelini: Open Land (RJAL 397031)

Cover

Bruno Angelini
Open Land

Bruno Angelini piano
Régis Huby violin, tenor violin, electronics
Claude Tchamitchian double bass
Edward Perraud drums, percussion
Recording, mixing and mastering, Studios La Buissonne, Pernes-les-fontaines, France
Recorded June 19-21 and mixed October 5/6, 2017 by Gérard de Haro, assisted by Annaëlle Marsollier
Mastered by Nicolas Baillard
Steinway grand piano tuned and prepared by Alain Massonneau
Produced by Gérard de Haro and RJAL for La Buissonne Label, and by Solange Association
Release date: March 23, 2018

Continuing where they left off on Instant Sharings, pianist Bruno Angelini, violinist Régis Huby, bassist Claude Tchamitchian, and drummer-percussionist Edward Perraud examine even deeper territory of quiet lyrical intensity. Angelini is the sole composer here, his trifecta of melody, tempo, and dynamics sensitively attuned to every face of this translucent gem.

The album begins and ends with two dedications. The first, “Tree song,” was written in honor of late pianist John Taylor, with whom Angelini shares an affinity for the unpretentious power of lyricism. Trailing half-tone harmonies across the night, it rakes its formless hand across an ether it cannot touch in hopes it will nevertheless be heard. The bassing reminds us that we are still here on solid ground, and that music can still be our bridge into light. The second homage is the three-part “You left and you stay” for Max Suffrin. This cinematic suite unearths its ore in an unrefined state to show us the beauty of that which has been untouched by hands of commerce.

“Perfumes of quietness” is an apt descriptor not only of this tender tune, but also of the quartet’s M.O. (as is “Both sides of a dream” of an innate ability to tell a story with light and dark faces). Angelini’s pianism is airy yet holds on to roots, even as a current of brushed drums threatens to wash it away. The variegated journey for violin that is “Jardin perdu” traverses the same territory over and over yet notices stark differences every time, leaving us unsure of whether it is the landscape or the traveler who changes. Such ambiguity is part of the band’s ability to suspend us over a chasm of uncertainty without fear of falling in. From the continental drift of “Indian imaginary song” to the oceanic motions of “Inner blue,” ambient suspensions serve as inhalations to wordless exhalations. They, like the album as a whole, are indicative of a masterful progression toward humility, a fluid orthography written on paper of the soul.

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