Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Kalle Kalima & K-18 Out To Lynch Tum 2012

So far I am digging the cover art...

I have to admit as a more traditional hard bop oriented tenor player while there is volumes of incredible music yet to heard, a great deal of what is commercially available and or working as the flavor of the month here in the States is taking boredom to the next level for me. Curiously I am drawn to both improvised music coming out of both Eastern and Western Europe with K-18 being part of the sound I have been looking for.

The musical irony here is that composer Kalle Kalima & K-18 are exploring their own riffs on some rather deep cinematic themes or so I am told. Their first release explored the films of Stanley Kubrick and Out To Lynch which is their upcoming release is a European sonic exploration of the work of David Lynch. While it pains me to admit this, I am not familiar with the cinematography of Kubrick or Lynch but only the titles of their various work. This unfamiliarity with Lynch's work does come with the advantage of approaching a musical interpretation with a blank slate. Some of the key films Out To Lynch does its own most unique riff on include Blue Velvet, Eraserhead, and Twin Peaks.

An immediate striking quality is that Kalle Kalima is not attempting to re-score or even reharmonize the music from some of the previously mentioned films but instead approaches each work with an ambient improvisational sound scape of personal interpretation. Consider this release accessible free jazz on a grand scale. According to Kalima the work of Lynch that inspired him the most was work of layered human emotions, easy to identify with but far more difficult to describe. An eclectic combination of aural soundscapes with a more European bent towards the form and functionality of improvised music.

The Elephant Man inspired by the 1980 film and true story of the life of Joseph Merrick takes on a dark expansive emotional color palette. There is a distinct sense of mystery, an innate ability to capture dark emotions with a deceptively subtle harmonic shift of instrumentation and subtle nuances that come together in a harmonious voice of free improvisation to best depict the organic pulse of the individual. Mulholland Drive which was inspired by the 2001 film and originally conceived as a television series is a psychedelic sonic exploratory through a Hollywood most of us will never know. There is a spatial consciousness that weaves in, out, around and through a dense Phil Spector like wall of sound if one were to use a western music frame of reference. Eraserhead was inspired from the 1977 film  and is the story about a man whose child is a mutant monster and subsequently turns family life as we know it into a surreal nightmare. A twisted slightly African feel featuring quarter-tone accordion and an African flute adds a surprising three dimensional sonic depth of field with the emotional connectivity of what it may like to be living in that same existence.

Out To Lynch is essentially a conceptual work of the profound effect of the work of David Lynch of guitarist Kalle Kalima with the emotional interpretation of each piece left to the listener. While the subject matter of Lynch is not something I would settle into in an effort to crank off a few quality hours in front of the tube, it doesn't have to be.

The ability to approach a work done on a grand cinematic scale and then reduce the ambient quality of the music down to organic roots while losing nothing in translation is stunning. To capture raw human emotion, surreal imagery, and vivid imagery of another artist and transfer all this information into a presentation of the emotional impact that the artist (Kalima) felt is amazing by very definition. At first I felt not having seen one piece of Lynch's work would make a review a daunting task. It is the simply act of listening to the musicians and allowing them to take you to a variety of places simply based on the outlines of the subject matter and nothing more make me intrigued to view the work of David Lynch in its entirety. It is is little wonder that Kalima is one of the hot tickets in Finnish jazz today!


Tracks: Bob; The Elephant Man; Mulholland Drive; Laura Palmer; Eraserhead; Lula Pace Fortune; Alvin Straight; The Mystery Man; Agent Cooper; Sailor; The Man From Another Place; Frank Booth.

Personnel: Kalle Kalima: electric guitar and percussion; Mikko Innanen: alto and baritone saxophones, flutes, and percussion; Veli Kujala: quarter-tone accordion and percussion; Teppo Hauta-aho: double bass, percussion and doors.

Street Date 10/14/12