Every Woman is a Tree
Johan Berthling (b), Kjell Nordeson (d), Magnus Broo (t), Martin Küchen (as), Mats Äleklint (tb), Mattias Ståhl (vib),
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Like Axel Dörner in Germany and Ernesto Rodrigues in Portugal, among others, Swedish alto (and sometimes baritone) saxophonist Martin Küchen spans the artificial divisions imposed between the “new” and the “old” improvising schools. His radical extended techniques, such as in the sonic use of saliva, are fundamental for the abstract, textural constructions on his solo album “Homo Sacer.” Although these techniques address sound itself rather than music as conventionally considered, Küchen is first of all a free jazz player. Küchen the free jazz artist is in fact what we find on “Every Woman is a Tree.” It is free jazz with a post-bop twist, profiting from contributions from some of the most interesting musicians on the Scandinavian scene: Magnus Broo (trumpet), Mats Äleklint (trombone), Mattias Ståhl (vibraphone), Johan Berthling (contrabass, and yes, from the experimental pop group Tape), and Kjell Nordeson (drums). Although this recording is more “thought out” and structured, it’s still organic and is even visceral, as the subject of this record – war – requires. There is, though, also similarities to be found between the music on “Every Woman is a Tree” and “Homo Sacer”: the obvious melodic material, the repetitive use of rythmic material, a helplessly emotional approach to both the sound itself and to the “music” …all this you can find on both CDs, although they initially audible “looks” very different from each other… Martin Küchen is profoundly political, with strong convictions about such topics as the Iraq invasion and occupation, American foreign policy, Israel, racism, and immigration. This music reflects that commitment.