For4 Ears Records, Switzerland (CD 1241)

Bertrand Denzler, tenor saxophone; Jean-Luc Guionnet, alto & soprano saxophone, Jaleika; Frederic Blondy, piano; Jean-Sebastien Mariage, guitar; Edward Perraud, drums & percussion.

Hubbub, the adventurous European improvisational collective, shatters genre barriers in this marvelous new session. At first glance, the instrumentation appears straightforward, but just a few moments into the first piece, /Ub, it becomes apparent that the form and content are anything but that. Conventions associated with the Jazz idiom, including definable chords and predictable rhythmic patterns, are effectively superceded by an impressive range of atmospheric effects and intervallic ideas. From the perceived abstractions emerges an order more profound than just soloist and rhythm section.

Years ago, the great composer and theorist George Russell said that in order to disregard chords one needs something very convincing to put in their place.  In many ways the performances here represent a 21st century view of Russellts views, to the extent that they challenge notions of tonality.  To get the most out of this advanced music, listeners should watch for the overall effect of the contrasting forms presented, instead of a catchy melody or /tune.

by James D. Armstrong, Jr.

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