By Tim Niland
The title of this album refers to people who have been jailed in solitary confinement, and this emotion and coiled energy of that circumstance imbues this excellent modern jazz album by this nine piece ensemble led by saxophonist Martin Kuchen. “Equality and Death (Mothers, Fathers, Where Are Ye?)” opens the album with raw scalding unaccompanied saxophone, then deeper bass builds in with forceful drums and horns framing the proceedings. Robust and vibrant horns build majestically, with the rhythm section setting a deep pocket to support the riffing horns. The music develops into a very broad and loud intensity with strong drumming and potent horns, before a rhythmic drum solo emerges. The full band builds back in to wrap things up, flexing its muscles as the music gains grandeur. There is a powerful intro for horns and deep bass on “Ador,” making way for a fine patient trumpet solo over subtle rhythm. The full bands bursts into bloom with dynamic interplay, proclaiming itself to be a great progressive big band, producing a choppy theme before launching into a cool vibraphone solo. The full band comes back, sounding even larger then nine pieces, cruising to the center of the music and making swirling and kaleidoscopic waves of sound in an excellent collective improvisation. They throttle down a bit at the end to conclude the performance with a flourish. “Pacemaker” features horns that poke and joust, developing a cool theme for the percussion to burst in on and make funky. Meaty chunks of music are marinated with shades of vibraphone and ripe saxophones, as the horns riff merrily, making for pure exciting fun. There is a horn fanfare to open “Disappeared Behind The Sun,” ebbing and flowing on the longest track of the album from a sad yearning theme for trumpet and piano duetting in open space, followed by brisk and vigorous full band playing in a forceful manner. A nice percussive section follows for heavy drumming and vibes, soon to be engulfed by the rest of the band as they swell forward led by bass, drums and baritone saxophone, in a torrential improvised section. The full band swells dynamically again to absorb this smaller cell, and develop stronger riffs to the conclusion. “Love, Flee Thy House (In Breslau)” concludes the album, led by subtle tenor saxophone and vibes which call the band to order, gradually building to powerfully beating bass and drums which provide the heart of the music and the wild fantasia of horns providing the soul. Mad riffing and pummeling and raw brass with jacked up trumpet and drums make for a very exciting price of music. This is superb modern jazz that is very compelling, The themes of the compositions are very simple and very memorable, and the improvisations are complexity yet accessible, with the band’s fireworks matched by their subtlety.