Jeff Platz
guitarist improviser

"Modern Primitive" - review by Joachim Keulemans, kwadratuur.be

Occasion ensembles in the genre of improvisation rather than the exception. Met in January so ready, Meinrad Kneer, Jeff Platz and Bill Elgart each other already at various stages in their careers but they have never played in the joint constellation as presented here by Evil Rabbit. The quartet played in October 2010 a one-off concert in Bielefeld and that gets the listener to 'Modern Primitive' full on his plate.

It is perhaps not the most evocative names for this album signing, but the presence of German reed player in January Klare (The Dorf, 1000) and the American drummer Bill (or Billy) Elgart throws is some weight . Especially the latter boasts a nice list of recordings, including not only releases alongside Tomasz Stanko, Kenny Wheeler and Dave Holland as well as two albums in a trio with Paul Bley and Gary Peacock. The now 69-year-old Elgart has lived in Germany since the seventies and the 'Modern Primitive' why not coincidentally flanked by some Germans. Besides the previously mentioned fact Klare is also bass player Meinrad Kneer, one of the driving forces behind the label Evil Rabbit, and someone with Elgart regularly operates with Ab Baars Trio. The relatively unknown American guitarist Jeff Platz, the line-up of this opportunity complete quartet.

Striking when listening to this album is the sound and recording quality, thanks to the work of Karl Godejohann productional and Oliver Siegel (where the sound is usually ready in January cooperates). 'Modern Primitive' could easily pass for a studio album because everything is well. The balance between instruments is perfect, the detailed Elgart game really comes into its own and bass parties Kneer be pushed anywhere, despite the often intrusive and intense interplay. The musical foursome will therefore not mince words. It has been flirting with dense textures and experimenting with sound and timbre, but the German-American company chose in most cases a plain, straightforward approach.

The bass parties in many parts Kneer act as an anchor. The German grabs in this regard to short motifs (and variations thereof) for the job somewhat easier for his colleagues. Platz also often seems to be satisfied with establishing a secure base that continues to be dressed in a horizontal rather than development. His tunes and chords are like clouds that enrich the overall sound but never overpowering. They are ready for more direct and Egart creative stimuli. The German often has the last word with his alto sax with its solid tricks and jumps frantically around, which he seeks contact with alternating square and Kneer. He uses their parties often for self-launching. Egart brings with broken rhythms and hand drum patterns verhakkelde especially liven. The American appears to be a master of variety and manifests itself as the most interesting personality of the four. Especially how he always zeroes in on the parties Kneer (or she strikingly counters) arouses admiration.

A damper on the festivities, the small variation in mood and dynamics. The heights vary enough from the hollows which the listener, despite the consistent quality, not enough class is held. Only when ready for the flute or clarinet quartet seems to choose his tactics slightly to adjust. This is particularly the case in 'White Mask', a short improvisation where Kneer and Elgart good score points respectively by bow and brushes to create a hissing sound carpet. It could not have hurt for a little more variety to the day to explain, so was the score of this already successful picture perhaps some can be higher.

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