Gato Libre is abstract fury moving in simultaneous directions, stunning!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
The sudden and tragic death of bassist Norikatsu Koreyasu left Gato Libre wondering what the future may hold. The band persevered and Natsuki Tamura began inviting a different guest to sit in with the band each night. Sometimes you just know when things are right and such was the case when trombonist Yasuko Kaneko sat in. One gig became two and the rest is as they say, history. An eclectic instrumentation that embraces the left of center free form approach that Tamura continues to turn heads with found the band simply opening a new chapter with DuDu.
The avant garde approach has been heighten but with a slightly dialed down dynamic for a sound that while familiar is an organic microcosm of lyrical intent. Deconstructed fury and passion. A more nuanced approach works to enhance the intricate compositions while allowing the listener to focus on the somewhat ambient tone this impressionistic lyrical road embraces. Your experience may differ but I doubt it. While Tamura is a full contact foot to the floor improvisational dynamo there is never a point where the collective is left in the dust. A balanced almost zen like harmonic attack accentuates compositions such as "Nanook" and "Kazuhiko." The tide turns with the quirky yet frenetic "Mouse."
Intensity has always been a word closely aligned with Gato Libre. Now the band has moved to the phase of abject intensity with a more heighted lyrical focus. Free jazz? No...not as such. Hard Bop? No...a little off the predictability scale as it relates to the genre. This is an organic collective that takes the harmonic box and instead of venturing outside, they simply widen the parameters of the box. A stunning release of sound and texture from start to finish!
Tracks: DuDu; Gato; Nanook; Rainy Day; Scramble; Mouse; Cirencester; B&B.
Personnel: Natsuki Tamura: Trumpet; Yasuko Kaneko: Trombone; Kazuhiko Tsumura: Guitar; Satoko Fujii: Accordion.