Gabriele Mitelli, John Edwards & Mark Sanders: Three Tsuru Origami

Saxophone, voice, electronics, bass and drums make an open-ended contribution to the repertoire inspired by birds

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A dedication to the world of birds and their migration, this album starts with the Ornette Coleman-like composition (by the much missed Sean Bergin), New One. Gabriele Mitelli’s trumpet follows the melody, using a range of techniques and squeezed notes, but with a more expansive approach than Don Cherry – the comparison unfair but inevitable at times.

Karma has a similar feel (Mark Sanders’ vigorous drumming urging the music forward), as does the more formal Ritual 3, on which Mitelli’s muted horn contrasts strikingly with his clear and rounded open playing. Nor is he averse to throw in a march motif (Go Godwit Go).

The emphasis of the music being related to ornithology, it’s unsurprising that the trumpet mimics birdsong: pointillist stabbing, trills and clucking, spiky exclamations, fluttering and squawking to remind us of the avian links.

Sanders and bassist John Edwards support well, as you’d expect, giving instant responses to each others’ inventions and providing cohesion whilst asserting themselves independently. Sanders uses snare patterns, abrupt interjections, shimmering cymbals and bells, moving in and out of focus to provide options, often non-metric but maintaining rhythmic movement.

Edwards shows his full repertoire of sound – pizzicato, arco sweeps and bowing (sounding surprisingly like a didgeridoo on Fly Away). It’s a full, resonating sound providing momentum which threatens, enticingly, to become a walking bass line at times. His introduction on the title track, Three Tsuru Origami (a reference to the crane), has an appropriately meditative Japanese flavour, its middle section erupting and gaining altitude before flying off peacefully.

Mitelli uses electronics on The Eagle And The Hawk and on the briefer Green Lake, Black Bird, the oscillating tones and harsh expression encouraging Edwards and Sanders to use abrasive percussive effects.

A fine album worthy of repeated listening.

Discography
New One; The Eagle And The Hawk; Go Godwit Go; Fly Away; Karma; Three Tsuru Origami; The Indian Geese And Himalaya; Green Lake, Black Bird; Ritual Part 3 (40.14)
Mitelli (t, ss, elec, v); Edwards (b); Sanders (d). Bergamo, Italy, February 2022.
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