Snekkestad, Fernández, Guy: Louisiana Variations

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While it may be convenient to have the music divided into six tracks – given the dynamic richness of the performance, the occasional signposted pause is a chance to catch your breath – this is a single, continuous piece.

At times, the three instruments crash together in moments of obvious drama, contrasting the frequent lyricism of Snekkestad’s horns. Fernández too emphasises fluidity, spending less time than usual inside the piano with his trademark wooden blocks and other preparations, instead focusing on the keyboard and often dreamlike shards of melody. Guy is simply Guy: always the perfect contributor, whether it’s scraped punctuation, tarantula-like scampering around the strings, or a straight, timekeeping line.

There may be fragments of scattered jazz (on the floor, likely enough) but really this is pure improvisation without a net. Snekkestad, Fernández and Guy are all highly experienced sonic aerialists, Fernández and Guy appearing together on multiple discs in their Aurora trio (with Ramón López) and both having played with Snekkestad in other permutations. The familiarity with each other and the shared language (or at the least, compatible dialects of a freely improvised tongue) result in an unsurprisingly yet nonetheless impressively fluid set, recorded live at a concert in Copenhagen in 2017.

In the absence of liner notes, just don’t ask me why the variations are from Louisiana…

Discography
LV #1; LV #2; LV #3; LV #4; LV #5; LV #6 (50.16)
Torben Snekkestad (saxophones, tpt); Agustí Fernández (p); Barry Guy (b). 9 July 2017.
Fundacja SŁUCHAJ! FSR01/2018