Touching Extremes review by Massimo Ricci


DANIEL LEVIN TRIO – Fuhuffah (CF 119)
An atypical format – cello, double bass and drums – for an album that mixes improvisation, melodic lyricism of the slanted kind and a well perceptible vocal quality in the conversations between two stringed essences. Cellist and nominal leader Levin exalts the singing features of his instruments through a systematic implantation of presentiments and harassments in the evolvement of a three-way trade, a garrulous law-breaker always happy to verify how the decline of jazz can be counterbalanced by an instrumental approach that sounds both materialistically paint-stripped and utterly freehearted, all regulated by an extraordinary technical literature that steals remnants from the mummy of Anton Webern to burgeon – with succulent fruits – in the paradise of dissonant-loving peasantry. Bassist Ingebrigt Häker-Flaten – owner of a superb timbral expressiveness besides a fabulous taste – is able to occupy interstices, tune to the deepest regions of subcutaneous vibration and tread the most impervious paths of resonant winsomeness while keeping eyes wide open when the partners decide to abandon themselves to unconsciousness in the lap of that giant wooden fellow. Gerald Cleaver’s drumming is ideal for this context, hyperactive yet often subdued swinging alternated with wise silences and instillations of moonstruck hobnobbing, the proverbial accompaniment nebulized into a myriad of rhythmic cells, a truly steadfast-in-adversity companion for one hour of exceptional legitimization of instantaneous indispensability. This is a splendid recording, a veritable breath of fresh air also representing the perfect showcase for a triplet of bright talents.

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