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(42:49, Fazzul Records)
Swiss saxophonist and composer Markus STAUSS is one of the most active musicians on the modern European jazz-rock scene, one who played with several bands – even with Finnegans Wake. The 15-track “Neolithicum” is his only solo release, whose sub-title, “Bass Saxophone: Solos and Extras”, along with his note that “This is Music Aktuel” (i.e. Music Concrete, which I personally never liked), gave me quite a clear idea of the album before I played it. Sure, I didn’t expect too much from a one-man creation which, moreover, only deploys a single instrument, and I was right in my presupposition on the matter. The only perceptible thing that this recording brings out is mood, which is comparatively dark overall – partly because of the sound of the instrument itself, and partly due to the solos, many of which are slow and drawn-out at once. Musically, however, all these solos and extras lead nowhere, strongly lacking in sonic saturation, a few of those that seem to be overdubbed included. Be this stuff called traditional Jazz or Jazz Ambient, it is devoid of any completeness. Personally I can’t listen to music that represents either free or spontaneous improvisations, containing not even a hint of what we understand as composition.
Vitaly Menshikov: April 19, 2012
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