Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kalima Everything Within Neuklang 2013


A multi-cultural vocal exploratory for the senses. Organic and eclectic are at times played out and often verbal crutches for most critics but Everything Within is an open ended eclectic mash up of  cultural and sonic diversity with a delightfully free form abstraction of harmonic texture and instrumental freedom that is but a mirror image of the vocal gymnastics performed by Sascha Ley. Vocal free jazz? Probably not but Kalima does raise the vocal bar some artists have been limboing under for years. Due for street release and available here in the United States through Amazon and iTunes, this is an intimate and deceptively free form vocal excursion through tunes from Sascha Ley.

The use of piano, soprano saxophone and bass clarinet are but threads of sonic bliss woven around Ley's textured vocals. Organic in nature, Kalima deconstructs the harmonic movements to incorporate the more common and fast growing chamber jazz movement with the flavors of the more exotic world music including that of India. There is a deconstructed intimacy that are spiced up with modern themes and vivid tales of imaginary folklore.

This trio revolves around the vocals of Sascha Ley but the addition of Laia Genc on piano and Anne Kaftan on soprano sax and bass clarinet embrace the zen like conceptual nature of less is more in this wildly entertaining hybrid. "High Moon" is perhaps the best tune that captures the complete essence of the trio. Written by Ley and Genic, "High Moon" sets the table for an effortless transformation as the album builds to a spot on reharm of Mongo Santamaria and his classic "Afro Blue." Vocal jazz fans with a penchant for world music should go insane over this release. Special guest Ramesh Shotham on percussion seals the musical deal here putting the finishing touches of flavor in all the right places.

One of the more inventive and original vocal oriented trios that I can recall. A deceptively subtle free form approach to original music that should stand the test of time incredibly well. Jazz radio as well as Internet formats here in the Unites States would be insane if they did not introduce their audience to these amazing ladies.

New sounds, new approaches, and a new way of looking at vocal jazz. Incredibly creative.

My one word review here: "refreshing!"

4.5 Stars...As close to perfect as one can get.

Tracks: High Moon; There; Sweet As It Can Be; Afro Blue; Journeys of Silence/Mane Na; Sunbeam (Everything Is Allowed); Monk and Fisher; Bangalore; Sister Gossip; On The Edge of Time; Everything Within.

Personnel: Sascha Ley: vocals; Laia Genc: piano; Anne Kaftan: soprano saxophone, bass clarinet; Special Guest: Ramesh Shotham.