[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS
(52:11 / Calibrated Music)
TRACK LIST: 1. Morning Beauty 11:35 2. MG Road 7:26 3. Tandoori 5:29 4. Five O'clock Twins 9:17 5. Robanna's Playground 4:42 6. Afternoon Silk 13:42 LINEUP: Karsten Vogel - saxophones Dr. Subramaniam - violin Ole Fick - guitar Klaus Menzer - percussion
Prolusion. Laksminarayama SUBRAMANIAM is an Indian violinist, composer, conductor and multi-instrumentalist with more than 150 releases and numerous awards in a career that started in 1973. Karsten VOGEL is a Danish saxophonist and composer with a lengthy career in fusion and jazz with an output of high enough quality for him to earn a lifetime artist grant from the government in his native country Denmark. In other words, two highly respected musicians of world-class reputation. "Meetings" consists of six compositions written by Vogel, of which Subramaniam contributes to four.
Analysis. "Meetings" is an album that indeed have lots of meetings: Western and Asian musical traditions, composed themes and improvised solos, individual and joined investigations, to name the most obvious. The end result is probably best described as jazz with elements of world music and ambient. The compositions are atmospheric, carefully probing and exploring musical and artistic possibilities, with cautious guitar and percussion work providing a solid foundation for sax and violin soloing. The main structure in the collaborative compositions are relatively fixed; each of the musicians explores a certain theme or mood individually, with a feeling that the main instruments are searching for or calling out to each other. When those instruments appear, there's a highly improvised feel of the joint researches made by the violin and sax, where the goal seems to be to find a perfect balance between the two instruments in the sonic textures woven. The two compositions that Karsten Vogel explores without Subramaniam are both built up in a similar manner, with the guitar taking the place of the violin. World music elements are very much a part of those tunes as well, in particular on Tandoori. As meetings go, this one is a success. The musicianship is excellent, and there's a strong atmosphere of two creative minds inspiring each other here. The only slight letdown on this album for me is the slightly minimalistic composition Robanna's Playground, and also opening tune Morning Glory, which although a very good and fascinating tune, comes across as slightly pale compared to the superb explorations made on the other pieces.
Conclusion. If you are a fan of world-class musicianship, especially if jazz and world music is to your liking, this album should be a safe purchase and one that most likely will be treasured. As the compositions here are highly atmospheric, people fond of new age-influenced music may find this release fascinating as well.
OMB=Olav M Bjornson: January 28, 2008
[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]