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Customer Reviews

Bruce Lee Gallanter's review

Rosa Luxemburg New Quintet consists of five talented musicians who respect no boundaries when it comes to creating music. The five musicians in this group all exhibit good talent for free jazz improvisation. Heddy Brubaker's sound hovers between the academics of Anthony Braxton and the more primordial sounds of a Marion Brown or Julius Hemphill. Piero Pepin’s trumpet growls and moans Lester Bowie style as it plays off the rest of the ensemble. Marc Perrenoud provides bass and electric guitar in a manner that adds rhythm and color rather than tonal assistance. Fabien Duscombs expertly uses a wide range of percussion instruments. Lastly, Françoise Guerlin’s voice is an improvisational instrument in its own right. (freethemusic-olatunji.blogspot)

Rosa Luxemb(o)urg was a was a Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist and activist born in Poland in the early part of the 20th century. Why this quintet named themselves after her is anybody's guess. What I do know is that this disc features some strong, spirited improv recorded in a studio in France in 2008. The first piece is called "Don't Look Down" and it consists of some over-the-top alto sax, trumpet, odd vocals and smoking rhythm team insanity. This music is too dense and intense to be considered lower-case although it is still most carefully crafted. "Episodes" is especially effective with somber, mesmerizing bent strings, flute and sounds not so easy to identify (an mbira maybe?). The best improv is that which creates a spell without even considering what exactly is being played, instrument-wise. Much of this meets that criterion. There is a section where the voice, flute or trumpet sounds like ghosts talking amongst themselves. I dig the cautious muted trumpet, eerie bowed bass, sleepy spinning cymbals, hushed disembodied vocals and minimal fractured sax on "A Matter of Tactic", everything just works.

(Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery)

Night Asylum, Rosa Luxembourg New Quintet
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