ALBERTO PINTON / JONAS KULLHAMMAR / TORBJÖRN ZETTERBERG / KJELL NORDESON – Chant (CF 156)
Unlike your reviewer, smart Italians know that the sooner they’ll leave the native country, the better their lives will turn for, in a direct proportion to the chances inevitably gained. In the case of baritone saxophonist and composer Alberto Pinton, Sweden has been the land in which his musical conceptions started to get the proper diffusion. This quartet – recorded in Coimbra, Portugal, during the month of July in 2008 – comprises musicians who collaborate together recurrently in a multitude of different combinations, gathered in this particular configuration upon incitement of Clean Feed’s honcho Pedro Costa.
The sense of enthusiasm, divertissement and satisfaction manifested by the players throughout the extensive program is literally touchable. The group performs superb contrapuntal themes neatly, obeying to the rules of respect when necessary, at all times ready to self-fragment and become four separate lady-killing units. Eloquence devoid of affected postures, the artists intent in establishing the truth transiting in the mind at that very moment. The double sax attack brought by Pinton, who also plays clarinet, and Kullhammar – on baritone, besides a mean tenor – is extravagant at best, elegantly moderate (so to speak) at worst. They’re aware of where they are at every minute, displaying methods for audience gratification through brilliant samples of erudite instrumental irresponsibility. Bassist Zetterberg and drummer Nordeson (featured on vibes, too, in “Let Ring”) form a proactive rhythm section that contributes to add fuel to the fire in more than one occasion; just check “Chantpagne” to realize how agitation and lucidity can sometimes coexist without damage.
Obstinate, efficient and often amusing, this music is destined to keep you heart-warming company for a good while. An excellent attempt of tearing down the walls that divide free jazz from predetermined composition, minus the excesses of diligence that would transform the whole in a sterile exercise. On the contrary, these pieces approach a combustible status quite frequently, but never deflagrate into cheapness.