Discoveries / Pot Pourri

Ken Waxman, The WholeNote, no. 12:4, December 1, 2006

Recorded over three days, 3 showcases three sets of compositions interpreted by three dynamic trios, whose only constant is Montréal-based bass clarinettist Lori Freedman.

Sounding arcing timbres, harsh spit tones, rhythmic tongue slaps, rotund chalumeau vibrations and moist glissandi, Freedman moulds her impressive technique to reflect each situation. However, only two parts of this triple header attain the highest score. Most memorable are her five interchanges with the off-kilter folksiness of René Lussier’s guitar and the pulsating crackles of Martin Tétreault’s turntables; as well as her chamber group-like interplay on four tracks with Nicolas Caloia’s thumping bass and Danielle Palardy Roger’s ever-shifting, understated percussion. Sweeping, twangy vibrations and kazoo-like squeaks from respectively, Rainer Wiens’ prepared guitar and Jean Derome’s alto saxophone upset the triangular game plan though. Too many reed buzzes and trills contrapuntally piled on top of one another relieved only by reverberating strums weaken those four selections.

But two outta three ain’t bad, with the remaining threesomes superlative. Roger’s rattles and inventions plus Caloia’s blunt string-stopping and sawing deftly fuse with Freedman’s vibrated flutter tones to resolve compositions from atonally to connective, horizontal interaction. Most protuberant of the triptych meetings are those with Lussier-Tétreault. With the turntable’s shrill whistles, hissing static and metrical scratches bushing against the guitar’s chromatic snaps and rhythmically complex strums, the mood is definitely POMO. Utilizing this droll interaction, the clarinettist regularly knits the strands together with mellow vibrated pitches which succinctly complete the tripartite musical impulses.