Review of “The Core-tet Project”

“The Core-tet Project” was released on January by “Naxos”. This album is the premiere release of Dame Evelyn Glennie new international ensemble, which members are – Evelyn Glennie (percussion), Jon Hemmersam (guitar) Szilard Mezei (viola) and Michael Jefry Stevens (piano). These four musicians are professional and interesting avant-garde jazz improvisers. Unique playing manner, masterful virtuosity, talented ability to inventively and effectively connect absolutely different music styles and their elements – these elements create innovative and modern style of all four improviser music. Huge range of extended and innovative playing techniques, expressions, dynamics, rhythms, ethnic music elements of various world countries, synthesis of various music styles create colorful, fascinating and impressive sound of these musicians compositions. Their compositions are always based on contrasts and bright musical language – swing elements are organically connected together with turbulent and free improvisations, contemporary jazz, modern jazz, contemporary academical music and other music elements. All four musicians are famous in avant-garde jazz scene – they are frequently playing in various jazz festivals, collaborating with other famous jazz musicians.

This album music is full of unusual timbres, sounds and unpredictable stylistic turns. The musicians masterfully switch between free improvisations and swing, bebop and cool, contemporary jazz and Africa music elements and many other combinations of music styles. This music is full of contrasts and musical experiments – four outstanding improvisers are dedicated to create and extract unusual and extraordinary sound. For that, they use extended playing techniques, musical expressions and other elements of the musical language. They use contrasting dynamics, extract huge variety of different timbres and unusual sounds, connect together original and inventive musical decisions, melodies and free spontaneous improvisations. Guitar melodies by Jo Hemmersam are full of interesting waves and turns – guitarist is improvising expressive and emotionally. Virtuosic passages, especially expressive and vibrant solos, soft and playful pizzicato, glissando, energetic arpeggios, fascinating riffs and bursts of the energy – all these elements are very important part of his improvisations. Michael Jefry Stevens piano improvisations have strike, vibrant and solid sound. Furious and loud solos, original stylistic waves, masterful ability to use huge range of different playing techniques create vibrant, joyful and vivid sound. Expressive, passionate and wild rapid and fast solos, soft and eclectic improvisations, nostalgic and lyric melodies, memorable and romantic pieces or turbulent and active free improvisations – all these elements are heard very clearly in these improvisations. Szilard Mezei viola melodies fuse together different playing techniques and expressions. Musician improvises free, spontaneously and emotionally. Subtle, energetic, lyric or very vivid and powerful viola melodies bring specific and original sound to these improvisations. Evelyn Glennie percussion create and keep solid rhythmic section and effective and gorgeous background. Passionate, emotional and evocative solos, abstract episodes, huge variety of different rhythms and rhythmic formulas, colorful and extraordinary sounds – all these elements gently fit together with other instruments improvisations. This album is based on synthesis between different music styles – sometimes it’s a free improvisations or fascinating musical experiments, sometimes its sound is more similar to expressive and evocative modern jazz, soft, memorable and romantic traditional jazz, energetic and spontaneous Africa music, contemporary academical music and the other intonations of various music styles. Splendid and organic synthesis between various music styles, free and innovative musical experiments, creative improvising make original and gorgeous sound of this album.

Link to review: Avant Scena Contemporary music blog