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Album Review

Nabatov, Simon Octet – “a Few Incidences ” – [Leo Record]

Thurston Hunger   4/13/2006   CD, Jazz

This begins like an Umberto Eco novel, a little thick and
strenuous to weed out the casual listener. Phil Minton starts
pre-verbal, as he is wont to do. But as the pieces progress,
Phil finds his voice, and he finds the outstanding words of
Daniil Kharms. That is the source inspiration this time for
Simon Nabatov. He has balanced his sublime composition with
a timely use of noisey bursts. A tip of the Keyolin to its
creator Cor Fuhler on here. Nabatov also deftly divides time
for the full octet against moments where the players drop to
a duo or trio. This has a strangely serious levity to it,
maybe befitting the life and strife of Kharms. Most of the
poem/stories are delivered po-angluusku. The last track is
a processed and disintegrating Russian recorded reading by
Sergei Yurskiy. Beautiful! Minton is mighty on this, at one
point like a tired gumshoe, then Donald Duck, then with an
“oh-by-the-way” voice on “An Encounter.” This is accessible
avant-garde, with a bluesy vamp next to sax scree. It may
be the key is a dual approach to absurdism, comical words
with crazy musicianship? Man any group is lucky if it gets
to use Ernst Reijseger for spot work; he and Fuhler string
up a high point here. One of many. Michael Sarin is a good
smoldering sort of drummer, see “On Equilibrium” before the
pizzicato prancing pops in. It’s all absurdly good! Right
out the window!! -Plummeting Thurston Hunger

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