Klaus Gesing: bass clarinet, soprano saxophone; Bjorn Meyer: bass guitar; Samuel Rohrer: drums, percussion.
The European trio co-led by German saxophonist and clarinetist Klaus Gesing, Swedish bassist Bjorn Meyer, and Swiss drummer Samuel Rohrer, releases their sophomore album, Amiira, on the drummer’s label Arjuna Music.
The trio appeared for the first time in 2013 with Open Source Music. Before committing to this project, Gesing released two solo albums and recorded with Anouar Brahem, whose quartet also integrates Meyer. In turn, Rohrer has recorded with the Ambik project and Daniel Erdmann, and is currently working with the Norwegian saxophonist Trygve Seim and Dutch pianist Harmen Fraanje.
Amiira opens with “Shine On Me”, a celestial ode that illuminates as Gesing’s soprano spreads engaging melodies over the fluffy layer created by the composite of bass and drums. Meyer opts for a disjointed approach before sticking to cyclic pop-rock lines.
“Minne” feels simultaneously beautiful and sad, evoking the elegy of Jobim’s “Retrato em Branco e Preto” and the nostalgia of Pieranunzi’s Fellini Jazz.
“Fulminate” moves in a different direction, incurring in a lucid experimentalism that encompasses hip-hop beats, funky bass lines, and an accordion-like effect on the saxophone.
Percussive noises unfold "After You’ve Left”, an atmospheric downtempo divagation where Gesing's dulcet phrasing finds solace in the underlying layer brought up by the rhythm section. Meyer almost transforms his bass into a sitar.
A vital, electrifying percussion sets “Source One” in motion and waits for Gesing’s bass clarinet to lead the way toward a fulgurant ecstasy of color.
The very suggestive “Clouds Below” is a levitating piece à-la John Surman. It diverges in rhythm but not in posture from “Sirènes Sacrées”, a silky and perfectly synchronized spin of pacific enchantment.
I see Amiira as a compendium of sheer prayers arranged with freedom but also discipline. The trio, showing maturity and an excellent understanding, transports us to diverse sonorous landscapes where an audacious avant-garde jazz intertwines with soulful world music.
01 – Shine On Me ► 06 – Source One ► 09 – Sirènes Sacrées