Sarah Elgeti plays tenor and soprano saxes, flute, as well as a bit of percussion, and the first track on Into the Open, a song titled Home, is so solidly and intelligently mellow that I was brought right back to the 70s, when I was getting into Grover's early stuff, Hank Crawford, old Rusty Bryant, and a wealth of others who knew how to blow solid easyside chops without sacrificing presence. Bossa among the Trees, however, jumps into bouncier grounds, beginning to trot out Elgeti's vocabulary, which again harks back decades to times when literacy and multiple fusion modes were transforming the backbone of trad into an evolving expression only rarely nowadays recaptured (and Christian Bluhme Hansen's guitar work in the background is quietly arresting while decorous).
Elgeti's duets with Marianne Markmann-Eriksen are sorcery, so thank God women are slowly rising in the horns field in the same way that Ana Popovic and a few others are mounting serious challenges to the guys in the guitar department over in bluesrock pastures—not proliferantly or quickly enough to please me, but, hey!, I'm only passing through this strange planet. More than once, I caught very strong currents of Dave Liebman's best, even a bit of Jan Garbarek, as she and Markmann-Eriksen wrapped around each other's lines, then in solo expositions. These two aren't messing around. They may not be as shrill as Barbieri or as monastic as Garbarek, but they sure as hell have been studying the eminents, making them their own.
Ringe I Vand features Elgeti on flute and will take you back to Chris Hinze and Yusef Lateef, a touch of Thijs van Leer perhaps and the classicality of Rampal. Night Moves is pointillistically abstract, reminiscent of the Art Ensemble of Chicago or Anthony Braxton, a great display of just how wide this woman's range is as it melds into a small big band refrain then leaps back out again for pensive asymmetric beauty and squalling contrasts sending chills up the spine. Settling fully into Into the Open, you're getting a catalogue of sax possibilities worthy of an ECM release in the outside stuff, and of Blue Note or Kudu in the trad/fusiony realm: every cut is packed in with gravity, even when spunky and gamboling.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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