Album Review

Habarigani – “Two ” – [Hat Hut Records Ltd]

cujo   5/10/2007   CD, Jazz

What’s the news? KFJC has finally acquired Habarigani’s 2nd release (also on HatArt) from 1995 (recorded in 1990). The personnel are the same:

Hans Kennel, trumpet & flugelhorn
Roland Dahinden, trombone (we just added the Mode disc of his string quartets in December 2006; click HERE to read Thurston Hunger’s review)
Thomas Eckert, clarinet & bassclarinet
Hans Hassler, accordion & clarinet & bassclarinet

The concept is the same: only compositions by the band members, with the exception being made for the Monk cover/contrast (Kennel’s pointillistic “So Evidently”), and a tight balance across the disc between the hazy, breathy soundscapes of a pneumatically-driven quartet and cooler jazz bops and riffs. I must warn you, though, as is the nature with brass & woodwind ensembles, if you stop paying attention this can become a drab wind-blown drone that goes in one ear and out the other. Fortunately, if you do pay attention, you Mats remember that the bass clarinet is awesome, and you will gain a deeper respect for how critical a role an accordion can play in a chamber environment. A few notable moments:

*accordion fantasy on Eckert’s “Games”
*dueling bass clarinets on Eckert’s “Sabina and Piselli”
*flugelhorn ballad on Hassler’s “Kein Schnee” (no snow)
*finger-snappin’ trombone solo in Kennel’s “Hoi Hoi”
*avant-klezmer on Kennel’s “Extra Goodies”

-Cujo, KFJC, May 2007

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