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Forsman, Alf, Varis, Tapani & Savela, Eero: Atmosfarg

Atmosfarg is an album by the Finnish trio Alf Forsman (drums), Tapani Varis (double bass) and Eero Savela (trumpet) delving deep into the world of free-form and jazz improvisations. This selection being recorded live at a session in Maunolo-talo in Helsinki. Again and again the feel is that of dark, shimmering atmospheres, the trio combining with a real glinting intent that can catch you unawares. Structure is key, but then its also eschewed as a percussive powerhouse performance still somehow remains unobtrusive and restrained. Although if you really hone in on what Forsman is building, then you begin to get a feel for the dexterity and controllingly, frenetic framework he unravels.

The only spot of light across the eight, largely lengthy tracks, is Savela’s trumpet, even if as often as not, it plays a much more muted and rounded game. Few sharp shards of brass scoring the even, if undulating surface that the double bass work from Varis lays down with such gliding ease. By it’s very nature, this is jostling, uncompromising fare that cares little whether you are always completely up to speed with the intention. Grab on to the spirit of what is being created and be done with it. The likes of “Gravitate” does offer a slower, more meandering malaise and a less hang on to the coat-tales feel as it does so; the sound of the popping snare drum (with the snares off) almost creating a front line stand off against the more obviously melodic moments. “See Through” plays with some brighter tones and yet for long spells its the clitter-clattering percussion that dances in the sparkling light. Although the plaintive howl of trumpet that comes forth as we head towards the song’s conclusion offers some counterpoint and a strangely spacey call to arms.

It’s through these contradictions that Atmosfarg makes its intentions clearest and yet, the unwillingness to break from type and offer some sharper entry points, more often than not leaves you boxed in and unsure where the pressure will be released. Compelling in places and challenging in others, the more experimental jazz enthusiasts will undoubtedly find some solace. Those requiring a path more clearly laid out will more than likely be left rather flummoxed.

Track Listing
1.Happy Rain
5.Pressure Change
7.See Through

Added: November 3rd 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Atmosfarg at Suomi Jazz
Hits: 931
Language: english

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