|Malcolm Goldstein and Rainer Wiens already have an entry in Ambiances Magnétiques’ catalog with the album Chants cachés. On this new release, Speaking in Tongues, Ganesh Anandan joins them for a trio that is truly one of a kind. These musicians combine very different backgrounds, from South Indian percussion to jazz and contemporary music. They lock into a lively conversation rich in emotions.
Ganesh, Malcolm and Rainer share a musical culture and aesthetic that is based on a love of the raw material of music: sound. They share a culture that respects traditions but acknowledges that each artist has a responsibility to create music that reflects the present-the here and now. It is a culture that respects disciplined practice so that they can follow music to areas of exuberant excess if that’s where it leads them. It is a culture that insists they speak with their own voice-the sum total of what they’ve lived, loved and heard. A culture that insists on ego serving music and not vice versa.
by John Gray
in The WholeNote #9:6 (Canada), March 1, 2004
If you thought that avant-garde-post-jazz improvisation had vanished forever, think again. Practitioners of the art have always needed to have at their fingertips a combination of incredible virtuosity, an innate grasp of musical form and the ability to listen analytically, even when wailing away on an instrument. In the past, some players revealed their weaknesses in this kind of exercise. But if anyone possesses such magic these days, Weins, Goldstein and Anandan have it, as evidenced on this new CD.
The metallic combinations of the solo violin linked with guitar at times remind one of King Crimson in their Lark’s Tongue in Aspic era, particularly in RaMa. However, this Montreal-based trio strives for more stratospheric heights than anything we heard in 1973. Of the most effective pieces, Fra Ma Ga Ra includes saxophonist Frank Lozano. Anandan’s gentle kalimba leads us into an oasis of peace on the last track, Lullaby.
Ambiances Magnétiques persist in publishing discs in cardboard tri-fold sleeves, for reasons unclear. They’re easily bent or mangled if you pop them in pocket or purse. Nonetheless, it gives the designer a big area to work in. But the photo has the musicians posing stiffly, bundled in winter overcoats with instrument cases slung about them. Surely it would have been more interesting to show us a glimpse of the session itself, with musicians in the white heat of improvisation. Nevertheless, this is a remarkable disc.