If having a balletic sense of time made percussionist Jeff Arnal very requested among choreographers, his ability to deploy a wide range of colors and dynamics turned him into a composer, even when he’s just improvising. An uncontrollable figure in the front line of the new improvisation scene worldwide, we can find him playing with innovators like Briggan Krauss, Dietrich Eichmann, Michael Evans, Ken Filiano, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Kermit Driscoll or Okkyung Lee, names of the most advanced music we can find today.
Arnal’s group Transit includes an old companion of adventures, alto saxophonist Seth Misterka, member of the Anthony Braxton’s Ghost Trance Ensemble and his partner in duo and trio records where we take notice of an intelligent use of extended techniques. Nate Wooley is the man with the trumpet, a musician very near the reductionist school, in the line of Axel Dorner, Franz Hautzinger and Birgit Ulher, and like them he mixes in his playing free jazz chops with contemporary classical, noise music and even lower-case electronics, even if it’s entirely acoustic. Reuben Radding, the bassist, likes to sound his entire instrument.
For him, musical notes aren’t sufficient, we hear also the wood of the double bass cracking; this when he’s not exploring multiphonics with the arco, like he did in a much applauded duet with Daniel Carter. Some say this is the most European music that can come from American players, but when European jazz is becoming to sound American the truth is that the Atlantic Ocean no longer makes the diference. Improvisation is finally universal…