|Amsterdam-based Aros is an international sextet co-led by Canadian saxophonist Rob Armus and Austrian classical pianist music Marion von Tilzer. Its other members are Vancouver jazz/new music trumpeter and bandleader John Korsrud, Pakistani/Scottish classical/jazz/rock violinist Anne Wood, Scottish jazz/improv/rock/reggae percussionist Alan Purves, and German bassist Sven Schuster. Their collective influences and experience notably include American jazz and improvised music, European classical and new music, and tango. Imagine for example Astor Piazzolla and Philip Glass combining forces to create modal jazz with an occasional nod to free improv. In fact there's quite a range of moods and styles, from heartfelt lyrical intimacy to driving soul jazz vamps. Recorded and mixed entirely in DSD, this vibrant recording is Aros' first North American release (their first CD was issued by BVHaast in 2001). By no means difficult or avant-garde, it should appeal to a broad range of tastes.
The band came together in Amsterdam in the late 1990s. Armus explains:
The relationship with Marion was about learning from each other: she showed me things about contemporary music and I showed her jazz, and now Marion is an improviser and I'm more educated towards contemporary music. I felt after years of playing free improvised music that IÊ¼d come to some type of dead-end and was needing more form. Marion on the other hand had been playing very structured classical music her whole life and was seeking more freedom, so we tried to combine form and structure with improvisation. Rather than having one long solo, everybody may have little sections where they improvise on a strict chord sequence within the rhythmic structure, as if the improvisation is a continuation of their part. I'd been interested for many years in Ghanaian music, particularly a ceremonial rhythm called abadja. I found that if I mixed a rhythm in 6 with another rhythm in 5 to make a cycle of 30 (for example in the piece "30") it made for an interesting base for improvising, and many possibilities for composition. I later realized that Steve Reich was using such techniques from listening to African music also.
This is a Super Audio CD Hybrid that plays on all SACD and CD Players. The sound is absolutely stunning!