Title: La Caja
Artist: Andres Elstein
Release Date: 25 Feb 2014
Genre: Free Jazz
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Label: Pan Y Rosas Discos
So I am probably not the first person to say this, but: I am really happy for Andres Elstein’s La Caja. I’ve been a jazz listener for a long, long time and I don’t hear as much of it out in the Creative Commons community as I would like. Oh certainly there is some jazz, but it’s typically either more swing style, electronic jazz, or a world fusion type of jazz.
Andres Elstein is an artist that is building, however, on the greats of the bebop and free jazz generation. You will hear harmonies, chord structures and rhythms reminiscent of artists like John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Coleman Hawkins, and Keith Jarrett just to name a few of the more obvious influences.
But this isn’t copycat or tribute music. This is music that picks up where the greats left off, and continues to build and move in new directions. Andres Elstein (drums) has put together a trio of musicians with serious involvement in the Buenos Aires music scene. The other musicians are Ada Rave (tenor and soprano sax, voices and percussion), and Nicolas Chientaroli (piano and percussion).
In this recording they sought out to explore ranges of timbres, textures and expression through solo and ensemble performance in improvisation forms. All of these recordings were captured live to two-track tape, with minimal mixing, editing / post-production.
The result is a work that is both demanding, and exceptionally enjoyable. This the work of master musicians that know how to listen to each other, and take pleasure in the act of performing together. By getting back to the raw essentials of the music this group has produced a recording that is possibly more direct and honest with its audience than most recordings produced today.
It can be a jarring experience to some degree. I think that in this age of digital every thing, and excessive capacity to manipulate and reuse just about everything we have forgotten what this kind of music sounds like when we first encounter it. Even the classic recordings of Coltrane can sound stale today having been subject to so much manipulation and remastering that much of the uniqueness is lost.
This is an awesome experience, getting to hear new music that picks up where the masters left off, making forms and styles that seemed to be lost to time relevant to a new audience. Wonderful discovery, and just plain excellent listening.