Three Rushes




Ernesto Rodrigues - harp
Katsura Yamauchi - alto saxophone
Carlos Santos - computer






















Katsura Yamauchi made a name for himself about ten years ago with the solo saxophone album, Salmo Sax, which established him as a leading figure among saxophonists involved in that period’s reductionist movement (Doneda, Bosetti, Denzler, etc.). There, we heard his very personal practice of playing in a stream near his home, immersing himself like a salmon swimming up river. That image colors my perception of this reemergence alongside Ernesto Rodrigues, who plays harp here, and Carlos Santos, on electronic synthesis. These two run the irreplaceable record label, Creative Sources (200 titles in its catalog!). The harp leaves a welcome space here, allowing an almost visual balance among the three musicians and their “floating music.” Carlos Santos’ iridescent and volatile sounds curl like networks of lines and signs on the surface of an imaginary stream that eddies among the stems of stylized branches evoked by Ernesto Rodrigues’ limping, trickling harp. In this context, Katsura Yamauchi’s weightless blowing takes on a new specificity. His manner of stripping and slowing the dynamics of his multiphonics will fascinate connoisseurs of the alternative saxophone. All the same, the group has its jerky moments. An anemic life slips in like a dream in a bare gallery hung here and there with familiar signs that resist understanding. But the musicians know how to bring character and a contained expressivity to the details of their improvisations at points where the listener’s attention may begin to fade. Beautiful work.

The two minds behind Creative Sources—a leading label in the renewal of musical forms in the world of improvisation—have collaborated with dozens of improvisers, researching and regularly renewing their approach and contributions as they find the perfect musical match with their successive partners. In this universe of radical, “abstract” and minimalist improvisation, that makes no concessions, their open approach and great adaptability merit underlining. The recordings they have made for Creative Sources over the years and the present trio show how to remain faithful to oneself while fully sharing the proposals of the other musicians they meet. Quite a rare accomplishment indeed.Young creators entering this musical path have plenty to learn from them.


Translation by Wade Matthews