I suspect it's no accident that the packaging on this and on the companioning Lee Konitz Jazzwerkstatt release (here) closely resemble the brilliant ECM format, as the music in both is very much of a spirit with ECM's wont. I've made no bones about that well-esteemed latter company being one of the very few zeniths of music release in the world, but I've also been pining for someone to take up where the hoary Eicher creation has, in the last decade or so, been seriously in disrepair (ever since teaming up with the irritating and irritable pelican-heads at Universal, their American distributor)…despite still issuing superb work. So, whether you want to mistake this CD for an ECM release or, as I have, smile at the subtle message being sent (that we here have a great collection of modern jazz music), go right ahead, you won't be a bit disappointed either way.
Pianist Pirodda is in fact accompanied by two ECM mainstays, Gary Peacock and Paul Motian, both giants in their realm. Motian, truth to tell, was metonymically one of the gents who helped start me, decades back, into a deep appreciation of new jazz when he released a still golden series of vinyl: Conception Vessel, Psalm, Tribute, etc. Peacock likewise has been singular, playing with Keith Jarrett and any number of estimables, releasing his own discs beyond that. With those two as the backbone of any trio, you can have no trouble whatsoever estimating the acumen and uniqueness of cats like Pirodda. The very first cut confirms this.
To call No Comment free-form would be a bit mistaken but would nonetheless land you in the heady atmospheres created, especially when listening to the jittery whirlwind in Seak Fruits; delightful! Ever since Circle and associated bands, I've been enamored of this incidentalist / avant / free / whatever form of music, which is, despite too casual anti-Modern Art reactions, not at all easy to execute nor all that abundant in top-drawer exemplars. The preceding cut, It Begins Like This is much more Satie-esque—had Erik, that is, been listening to George Crumb instead of reading Rosicrucian texts. Every cut on No Comment is in fact an exercise in pure creativity by masters of just such sirenic inspiration, tribute to what occurs when artists have no fetters but their own.
Pirodda is an adept whether in reveristic or haunting slo-mo (sections of the title cut) or racing like a tracking van outrunning a tornado; Peacock just slays, as ever; and Motian has perfected the art, along with so few others, of creating music with percussives, time-keeping a minor distraction, an adjunct to coloration and atmosphere. No Comment shines from beginning to end and will evoke many a re-visit. I wallowed in the disc twice through before writing a single word and intend to fall blissfully asleep to it tonight, tomorrow morning placing the disc in my lazy susan of oft-played sonic enterprises. It's that good.
Move over, Manfred.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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