Alessandro Bosetti - Zona (05.2004)
Since the work of Anthony Braxton, Sonny Rollins, Steve Lacy or Evan
Parker, solo saxophone recordings are no longer a ”problem.”
And especially recordings of solo soprano saxophone – Parker and
Lacy (and Lol Coxhill) have more than just rehabilitated this instrument,
long neglected by jazz and improvised music. Solo recording has become
so canonized that an improvising saxophone player is expected, at some
time, to make a solo album.
Alessandro Bosetti, from Milan, Italy, but who has been living in Berlin
since 2000, is a composer of electro-acoustic music, an author of experimental
radio plays, one of the central figures of the Berlin improv scene, label
boss and soprano saxophone player. Zona presents HIS solo saxophone album.
The music was recorded in an East-Berlin radio station at the beginning
of 2003, and Bosetti knew well how to use the old but well preserved possibilities
of the studio. The pieces were recorded with a total of six microphones,
each of which took a different position in the room: one far away, taking
in the sound, one very close, catching only the austere sound of the saxophone.
Bosetti left the improvisations themselves untouched during the post production.
What we hear are pieces in real time. What he processed are the individual
recording tracks, the individual microphone positions. He cut them up
– not with a pair of scissors, but virtually in a digital studio
– and put them back together anew, making one track out of six.
A small but highly thought-out operation which transforms these improvisations
into electro-acoustic compositions. What this means concretely is that
we hear a few seconds of improvisation from the perspective of microphone
1, then a longer sequence from the perspective of microphone 3, then a
bit from microphone 6, then .... Although we hear only one improvisation
in each case, there is nonetheless the impression of a sometimes hectic,
sometimes hard and always radical cut-up collage. It is, however, ”only”
the quickly changing perspectives that create this kaleidoscopic impression.
The entire post production of Bosetti would be, however, in vain and pretentious,
if there were no musically substantial result after the improvising. But
Bosetti’s virtuous playing vouches for this. He doesn’t let
himself get intimidated by the greats Braxton, Lacy or Evan Parker (musicians
who are his role models), but rather he controls the entire sound register
of his instrument with ease and originality. He plays the energy –
without falling into Free Jazz clichés; he masters silence –
without becoming a toady to New Music. No matter how pronounced the constructive
will is, behind this music is a great improvising imagination.
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GROB653 Blank meets Pettibon