Dada cs739









Turning to some other recent (& forthcoming...) Creative Sources releases, clarinetist Bruno Parrinha had already appeared there on a variety of programs — & was first mentioned here in a review of the quintet album Lithos in June 2018 — but now appears in a "series" of four albums with Ernesto Rodrigues. (Beyond those two, the albums do vary in personnel, although all musicians involved have appeared with Rodrigues previously.) And I'll be proceeding chronologically by recording date: The first album, Dada (recorded in Lisbon last November), marks the return of the Lisbon String Trio (their previous release being Isotropy with Luis Lopes, reviewed here in May 2020...), and also presents a particularly integrated performance for that ensemble. Recent releases had involved "soloists" with a broader reputation in Portuguese free jazz, while early performances brought in musicians new to the CS scene. And while Parrinha's reputation surely continues to grow, he isn't as well known (although, as it happens, he's released e.g. an album with Lopes too...) — nor is he new here. His adoption of the alto clarinet on Dada is relatively new, however (& Parrinha uses only varieties of clarinets on these albums, pace some saxophone on earlier outings...), as well as being particularly integrated into the string texture (versus a more concerto-like presentation....): As its title suggests, Dada also evokes a sort of rhetorical abstraction (or concrete anti-rhetoric...), so presents rather differently from e.g. LST clarinet favorite K'Ampokol Che K'Aay, there with more in the way of an "anthropological" (& naturalistic...) air, likewise easing into sound to open.... Dada might thus be compared to LST's first album (without guest), Proletariat (reviewed here as part of an extended series in July 2017): There's more sense of musical unity, even as figures move & replicate, with a sort of quiet pointillism to open, but slowly developing an intricate counterpoint via various twists & turns, yielding a feeling of occasionally busy "sketched" lines (or diagrams...), overlapping parallels that don't necessarily meet or develop... even as a cool lyricism might emerge at times too. In this, of course dada is now over a century old, itself refiguring a kind of late imperial nostalgia — or perhaps critiquing a sort of historicism, basic exosomatization (e.g. object relations) traditionally providing rhetorical circuits (& various justifications for bad behavior). It's thus hard to envision dada without a sense of physicality, of objects beyond the body (i.e. the exosomatic ground of the postimperial subject). But its call toward anti-rationalization, a century ago, seems just as relevant to the antisocial rhetoric dominating much of contemporary politics today, i.e. to circuits of chatter that serve to enable base desire, "rationalizing" per se as the cancellation of sociality & care. In any case, Dada can thus seem to evoke a bit of historical (if not musical) survey at times, generally subtle, but also moving through various moods. The alto clarinet also invokes a subtly different feel, including when involving the various timbral shadings & (spectral) counterpoints for which Rodrigues is known, pensive at times (but generally active), and with a wonderful sense of textural balance. Shifting registers also invoke differing plays of light, although there's little "direction" overall (rather, a more deconstructive figuration that nonetheless erects its own sort of solidity...) — except via generalized drift toward a melancholy of familiarity. Dada consequently projects a sort of (intricate) modesty, also being modest in length, but I've continued to appreciate its unresolving tensions too. Todd McComb's Jazz Thoughts