Frantz Loriot (vla), Joachim Badenhorst (cl), Pascal Niggenkemper (b),
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The music of baloni offers something truly unique in the world of improvised music, and their album, Fremdenzimmer, shows the trio at their finest. Their explorations of sonic landscapes unfold with all the quiet and foreboding of a gathering storm. Tattered moments of melancholic chamber music filter its way through texture and noise. Fremdenzimmer captures the very pathos of our time. This debut album from the New York based trio grips the listener with a precision that is as refreshing as it is bold. Clarinetist Joachim Badenhorst (Han Bennink’s trio, Tony Malaby’s Novela, Thomas Heberer’s Clarino) cuts through vapor with melodies that straddle the boundary of the earthly and the incorporeal. The viola playing of Frantz Loriot (Joëlle Léandre, Barre Phillips, David S.Ware) blends a stoic mournfulness with a calm unease, as though a pattern of smoke which dissipates right as it is coming into formation. Bassist Pascal Niggenkemper (Tyshawn Sorey, Simon Nabatov, Gerald Cleaver, Frank Gratkowski, Joe Hertenstein, Thomas Heberer’s Clarino) conjures up voices of contemplative frenzy and passionate resolution from the depths of the lower registers. The music of baloni blends all musical disparities into a unified whole. It contains the perfect balance of improvisation with composed material. The intensity of the trio’s focus never once obstructs their spontaneity. The lush instrumentation provides a rich sound even as they move farther and farther beyond the traditional techniques of clarinet, viola, and bass playing. This is music for the listener who is tired of insipid genre and convention; this is music for the listener who is seeking the universal.