ARMAROLI SCHIAFFINI SJOSTROM

DUOS & TRIOS

This CD is an unprecedented combination of vibraphone, soprano sax and trombone. The three musicians realised they had to come up with something really original to match this highly unusual combination of instruments. Within nine duos and three trios they had to create the new language, or “the event”, which has to be improvised and reflect the richness of the musical relationship.

SERGIO ARMAROLI, HARRI SJOSTROM, GIANCARLO SCHIAFFINI

LINER NOTES by Ettore Garzia

reviews | recensioni

Quel plaisir de retrouver l’irrésistible tromboniste Giancarlo Schiaffini dans le Trio One qui ouvre ce bel album Trios and Duos. Schiaffini, le vibraphoniste Sergio Armaroli et le saxophoniste soprano Harri Sjöström jouent dans trois Trios (One, Two et Three) les deux autres étant situés à la fin du disque, entourant pas moins de huit duos Armaroli/ Sjöström. On aurait aimé entendre plus longtemps le tromboniste Italien pour chacun de ses notes, celles-ci étant calibrées chacun avec un timbre, un accent, un effet, une densité particulière comme un Roswell Rudd qui s’inspirerait de Paul Rutherford. Mais en fait nous ne perdons pas au change, les qualités d’improvisateur original de Schiaffini s’applique aussi à Harri Sjöström, un véritable orfèvre du sax soprano, élève de Steve Lacy dont il partage beaucoup de qualités au point de vue de la sonorité et de la « simplicité » complexe de son jeu. Chaque note est soupesée, travaillée, émise avec une précision remarquable comme si elle était habitée d’une vie indépendante, comme si elle paraissait être des signes visuels articulés dans une écriture mystérieuse pleine de significations. Ses improvisations développent une belle dimension narrative avec un style tout – à fait, personnel, lyrique précis et chaleureux. Son collègue Sergio Armaroli cultive un jeu aérien et délicat, toutes notes suspendues et flottant dans l’espace, le timbre des lames s’échappant dans l’infini du silence comme dans Duet Six, la plus longue des courtes improvisations. Celles-ci tournent entre deux et quatre ou six minutes et Duet Six atteint 10:43. Pour notre plus grand bonheur la dernière improvisation, Trio Two, dure 22:36 et rassemble les trois musiciens, nous permettant de nous régaler de la présence du tromboniste Giancarlo Schiaffini. En fait, je considère que le trombone était l’instrument (ou un des instruments) phare de la révolution « musique improvisée libre » européenne. Et donc en ce qui me concerne, Schiaffini (comme Rutherford, Christmann, Malfatti, les Bauer, Paul Hubweber ou encore Sarah Brand) est un pionnier incontournable. Il faut l’entendre travailler le son, ses glissandi dans le grave, vocaliser dans le pavillon, vibrer la colonne d’air, la compresser etc… Un magnifique alter-ego pour le distingué Harri Sjöström dont l’articulation fait merveille. Le jeu zigzagant et sautillant du vibraphoniste Sergio Armaroli et sa vision libertaire de l'instrument, crée une troisième dimension, un relief à la fois éthéré, transparent et substantiel, qui contribue à l’architecture des échanges, traçant des écrins choisis pour les vents inspirés. Une merveilleuse musique de chambre.

Publié par Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg à 16:16:00, orynx-improvandsounds.blogspot.com

 

ARMAROLI / SCHIAFFINI / SJÖSTRÖM duos & trios stin Leo Records Ópos o gráfei o italós dimosiográfos, perí ta mousiká, Ettore Garzia, sto mésa méros tou digipak: «Ton Dekémvrio tou 2019 o vimprafonístas Sergio Armaroli proskálese ton (sopráno & sopraníno) saxofonísta Harri Sjöström stin Italía – gnorízontas tin epitychía ton verolinézikon konsérton toú Sjöström me ton Andrea Centazzo kai ton Matthias Bauer. Oi Armaroli kai Sjöström symfónisan na kánoun éna trío stin Italía, mazí me ton tromponísta Giancarlo Schiaffini, énan statheró synergáti tou Armaroli ta pio prósfata chrónia, allá i anepárkeia tou programmatismoú ton italikón festivál den tous epétrepse na orísoun kápoia imerominía, gia live, kai, os ek toútou, apofasístike na ichografísoun sto stoúntio, kathós oi mousikoí eíchan syneiditopoiísei tis dynatótites tis diaisthitikís epikoinonías tous oútos í állos. Armaroli, Schiaffini kai Sjöström synantíthikan loipón stin Biella (VD Italía) s’ éna aftoschediastikó sésion, to opoíon apoteloúsan ennéa ntouéta anámesa ston Armaroli kai ton Sjöström kai tría kai me tous treis mazí». Aftá ta tracks, dódeka ston arithmó, synapotélesan to álmpoum “Duos & Trios” (2020), pou thétei tóra se kykloforía i gností mas, kai istorikí pia, etaireía Leo Records. Gia álmpoum-symmetochés ton Armaroli kai Schiaffini den prépei na échoume xanagrápsei sto blog, allá o Harri Sjöström mas échei apascholísei diáfores forés, kathós échoume anafertheí sta álmpoum (tou) “The Balderin Sali / Variations” [Leo, 2019], “The Treasures Are” [Creative Sources Recordings, 2019] (me Guilherme Rodrigues), “Up and Out” [Amirani Records, 2019] (me Philipp Wachsmann, Matthias Bauer, Dag Magnus Narvesen), “Aural / Vertigo” [Amirani, 2017] (me Sestetto Internazionale) kai “Live at Bauchhund, Berlin 2010” [Amirani, 2011] (me Gianni Mimmo). Fysiká kai oi Armaroli kai Schiaffini den eínai tychaíoi mousikoí –to akrivós antítheto tha légame– kathós o prótos échei ichografísei me diáfora «prosopiká» schímata (trío, kouartéto, kouintéto), échontas synergasteí me tous Riccardo Sinigaglia, Walter Prati, Andrea Centazzo k.á., enó o défteros diaprépei apó ta sixties ídi, échontas ypárxei mélos dekádon schimáton mésa sta chrónia (nai, kai ton Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza apó to 1972 méchri to 1983). Treis mousikoí loipón me megáli istoría kai «chiliómetra» sta chéria tous sto chóro tou free-improv den tous eínai dýskolo na synypárxoun se ntoúo í trío (éna trío stin archí, ennéa ntoúo sti synécheia kai dýo trío sto télos symplirónoun tin ichografikí dodekáda) prosférontas alithiná xechoristés stigmés dimiourgikoú aftoschediasmoú. Ópos gia parádeigma sto 11lepto kommáti “Duet six”, sto opoío oi Sergio Armaroli vimpráfono kai Harri Sjöström saxófona proteínoun mian entyposiakí synomilía, pou akoúgetai san... san léme... na symmetéchoun ki álla órgana sto setting kai di ilektroniká, me to 23lepto “Trio two” pou oloklirónei to álmpoum na férnei dípla-dípla kai tous treis mousikoús, oi opoíoi synypárchoun díchos synkekriméno prógramma kai me monadikí pyxída to na parachtheí mia mousikí me xekáthari synáfeia, kai óchi káti periptosiologikó kai anermátisto. To katorthónoun, vasiká epeidí kai oi treis tous (Armaroli, Schiaffini, Sjöström) xéroun na diacheirízontai ton chróno. Xéroun diladí pós na tmísoun aftó to megálo diástima ton 23 leptón, óste kai isodynámos na symmetéchoun sto telikó apotélesma (mésa apó tis synodoiporíes, tis kóntres, ta sóli kai ta «gemísmatá» tous), kai i mousikí pou telikós parágoun na akoúgetai díchos tin aísthisi tou katakermatisménou. Gia tous réktes tou free-improv aftó to álmpoum eínai ó,ti prépei. Epafí: www.leorecordsmusic.com

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ARMAROLI / SCHIAFFINI / SJÖSTRÖM duos & trios in Leo Records

As the Italian journalist writes about music, Ettore Garzia, in the middle of digipak:

"In December 2019, vibraphone player Sergio Armaroli invited (soprano & soprano) saxophonist Harri Sjöström to Italy - knowing the success of Sjöström's Berlin concerts with Andrea Centazzo and Matthias Bauer. Armaroli and Sjöström agreed to form a trio in Italy, together with trombonist Giancarlo Schiaffini, a regular collaborator of Armaroli in recent years, but the lack of planning for Italian festivals did not allow them to set a date for live, and, therefore, it was decided to record in the studio, as the musicians had realized the possibilities of their intuitive communication anyway. "Armaroli, Schiaffini and Sjöström met in Biella (NW Italy) in an improvisational session, which consisted of nine duets between Armaroli and Sjöström and three and three together."

These tracks, twelve in number, constituted the album "Duos & Trios" (2020), which is now released by our well-known, and now historic, company Leo Records.

For Armaroli and Schiaffini albums we should not have rewritten the blog, but Harri Sjöström has occupied us several times, as we have referred to (his) albums "The Balderin Sali / Variations" [Leo, 2019], "The Treasures Are ”[Creative Sources Recordings, 2019] (with Guilherme Rodrigues),“ Up and Out ”[Amirani Records, 2019] (with Philipp Wachsmann, Matthias Bauer, Dag Magnus Narvesen),“ Aural / Vertigo ”[Amirani, 2017] ( with Sestetto Internazionale) and “Live at Bauchhund, Berlin 2010” [Amirani, 2011] (with Gianni Mimmo). Of course, Armaroli and Schiaffini are not accidental musicians - the exact opposite would be said - as the former has recorded with various "personal" bands (trio, quartet, quintet), having collaborated with Riccardo Sinigaglia, Walter Prati, Andrea Centazzo and others. a., while the latter excels in the sixties already, having been a member of dozens of bands over the years (yes, and the Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza from 1972 to 1983).

So three musicians with a long history and "kilometers" in their hands in the field of free-improv are not difficult to coexist in a duo or trio (one trio at the beginning, nine duos then and two trios at the end complete the recording dozen) offering truly special moments of creative improvisation.

For example, in the 11-minute track "Duet six", in which Sergio Armaroli vibraphone and Harri Sjöström saxophones suggest an impressive conversation, which sounds like ... as we say ... other instruments to participate in the setting, especially electronically, with 23 minutes "Trio two" that completes the album to bring side by side all three musicians, who coexist without a specific program and with a unique compass to produce music with a clear relevance, and not something casual and unrelated. They do it, mainly because all three of them (Armaroli, Schiaffini, Sjöström) know how to manage time. In other words, they know how to divide this long period of 23 minutes, so that they can equally participate in the final result (through their accompaniments, fights, solos and "fillings"), and the music that they finally produce can be heard without the sense of fragmented.

For free-improv fans this album is a must.

Contact: www.leorecordsmusic.com

 

Duos and Trios by vibraphonist Sergio Armaroli, trombonist Giancarlo Schiaffini and soprano and sopranino saxophonist Harri Sjöström is a free-ranging set of improvised music for small groups made in Biella in Italy at the invitation of Armaroli. A frequent musical partner of Schiaffini’s, Armaroli called Sjöström in from Berlin to join him and Schiaffini; these three trios and nine duos were the result. The duos are framed by the trios, which make up the opening track as well as the final two tracks. It’s the duos that provide the album’s backbone and aesthetic as well as literal center. Armaroli and Sjöström may have been new to each other, but their chemistry is unmistakably good and consequently their interplay is assured and coherent. Armaroli is quick to respond to Sjöström’s fleet, fragmentary lines with single-note runs in parallel rhythms, or to set out a foundation of restlessly moving chords. When Schiaffini joins them, the addition of his voice rounds out the collective sound with a robust presence in the lower register and a layer of contrapuntal complexity. Like Sjöström, Schiaffini makes liberal use of extended techniques; his brassy timbres complement Sjöström’s own sharp-edged tone in an unexpected family resemblance.

Daniel Barbiero, AvantMusicNews

ENGLISH VERSION

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Armaroli, Schiaffini, Sjöström: Duos & Trios.

Leo Records

Free expression explores not only previously inexperienced musical structure, but also new instrumental sound combinations. The vibraphone, trombone and soprano saxophone are traditional jazz instruments but Sergio Armaroli, Giancarlo Schiaffini and Harri Sjöström place them in a fresh context. With the album Duos & Trios, the musicians probe the sound sphere with two and three.

The album began in December 2019 when Armaroli invited Sjöström to Bella, Italy, to carry out an experimental project together with his longtime playing partner Schiaffin. The three-day sessions resulted in a total of nine Armaroli – Sjöström duets and three full-length trio theses.

The central effect of improvisations is revealed by surprise: splashes often intensify into sonic fireworks as musicians listen to each other with a sensitive ear. The calls also convey an impressively wide range of tones, modes and textures. They take shape here and now, and the images they ignite curve from folk music and Steve Lacy’s boldest detachments to Steve Reich’s Dadaist Drumming / Percussion series.

 

MATTI KOMULAINEN

Turun Sanomat

La musica improvvisata ha ancora qualcosa di speciale che non è soltanto la radicalità con cui è stata definita in passato. C’è anche un approccio “soft” al dialogo, quasi passionale, come dimostra questo trio costituito daGiancarlo Schiaffini al trombone, Sergio Armaroli al vibrafono e

Harry Sjöström ai sax soprano e sopranino. L’idea di coinvolgere il musicista finlandese, ma da tempo residente a Berlino, è stata di Armaroli, che lo registra in nove esecuzioni in duo, le altre tre, per oltre mezzora del lungo disco, settanta minuti, sono in trio. È un suono molto speciale che si staglia contro il silenzio, fra le note metalliche del vibrafono e il sax di Sjöström, poetico, sognante, anche quando va a cercare le note più acute del suo sopranino. È un dialogo che funziona, che coinvolge proprio per questo aspetto tranquillo, a modo suo sentimentale, che procede avvolgendo l’ascoltatore attento. Quando arriva Schiaffini, all’inizio e poi nei due brani finali del disco, la musica si arricchisce di un nuovo elemento che però non altera gli equilibri di base, i tre sono perfettamente in sintonia su quella che è la direzione da prendere. Ne spunta un bel disco, maturo, che non vuole spaventare nessuno bensí farsi ascoltare, comunicare, lasciare una traccia sentimentale anche nei momenti in cui il dialogo si fa più serrato, in quella che è la musica improvvisata in Europa.

by Vittorio, MusicZoom

Italian musicians Sergio Armaroli (vibraphone) and Giancarlo Schiaffini (trombone) beckoned reputable Finland-reared Harri Sjostrom (saxophones) to join them for a session consisting of nine duos and three trios that are somewhat noteworthy due to the unconventional instrumentation. Per the album liners, the goal was to create 'events' such as "amazement, wonder or a good mood through the free formation of notes..." and so on. 

The artists' notes duly resonate via the crystal-clear audio production, providing additional clarity for their dynamics and multifaceted collaborations. These meetings consist of distinct subtleties along with weaving, peppery and rebellious inferences, gushing with counterpoint and fluently moving call and response parts. And on "Duet Two," Armaroli and Sjostrom inject frantic climaxes and carefree exchanges into the mix along with prolific tonal variances. Yet "Duet 5" is a brief and quirky piece, marked by Sjostroms extended soprano sax notes and bursting breakouts, and underscored by Armaroli's undulating support, where the duo imparts staggered mini themes as they stop, go, and renew. 

Duets such as #9 and #10 contain upbeat flows, circular sax phrasings, earnestness, and rugged progressions amid dense and nuanced motifs, accelerated by passages that mimic a nerve-rattling escape from captivity sequence on #10. However, one of the three trio works is the three and one-half minute "Trio Three," directed by Schiaffini's drawling lines and the saxophonist's whimsical sojourns, terse patterns, and disparate contrasts, given the instrumentation. And the final 22-minute trio piece—"Trio Two"—is where they reach for the stars, culminating a rather magnetic presentation that offers a shimmering visual experience for the mind's eye.

Da tempo Harri Sjöström, finlandese residente a Berlino, è ospite fisso di questi spazi recensòri. A nostra e sua discolpa vi è la contingenza che lo vede fra i musicisti più attivi in ambito europeo. Nell’occasione lo becchiamo a collaborare con due dei musicisti più toghi del jazz italiano. Armaroli e Schiaffini sono a tutti gli effetti due maestri nell’ambito della musica improvvisata, e non solo, con all’attivo importanti discografie e altro. Schiaffini, in particolare, ha fatto parte del Gruppo di improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza e, oltre alla sua attività come trombonista, si diletta anche in arti culinarie. Armaroli, vibrafonista (e percussionista) eccelso, è impegnato anche negli ambiti della pittura e della didattica. Invito il lettore a vistare il sito internet di entrambi. Di Sjöström, come già detto, ci siamo occupati in tempi recenti a più riprese, e nel suo caso l’invito è a recuperare le varie recensioni che lo riguardano. Vengo all’oggi, e a un disco che vede impegnati sia i tre musicisti (nei trii) sia i soli Sjöström e Armaroli (nei nove duetti). Il suono cristallino e fluido del vibrafono crea di regola un contrasto netto con i fiati, soprattutto nei tre brani in cui è presente il trombone, ma non mancano le eccezioni, e Armaroli riesce a trascinare i suoni in sospensione come avviene in Duet Seven (un brano dalle curiose atmosfere arabeggianti). Cosiccome riesce a dare al vibrafono caratteristiche più prossime a un classico strumento a percussione (Duet Eight). Con tutto ciò non intendo affermare una presunta superiorità del vibrafonista, in quanto sax soprano e trombone interpretano alla meraviglia i loro ruoli, anche avvalendosi di un range espressivo molto più ampio rispetto a quello del vibrafono. È un gioco a rincorrersi, quello messo in scena dai tre, senza che l'uno acchiappi mai l'altro, dacché si trova sempre una via di fuga. In conclusione direi che ci troviamo di fronte a tre strumentisti di razza, e di provata esperienza, che non potevano fallire. E non falliscono.

Sergio Armaroli, already a regular musical partner to Giancarlo Schiaffini, invited saxophonist Harri Sjöström to join them in Italy to play and record a set of free, improvised music.  Duos and Trios is the result of this event and given the combination of instruments, one has to say that the outcome is little short of magical. 

The duos of Armaroli and Sjöström exhibit a highly perceptive degree of comprehension between the two musicians, in spite of the novelty of their meeting.  Their interactions are confident and eloquently lucid.  Schiaffini’s sonorous trombone introduces a full-bodied bass presence and a contrapuntal texture to the trios: the three voices together illustrate that the music is created by the musicians, not by their instruments unaided. 

Giancarlo Schiaffini was self-taught and appeared in the first, Free-jazz concerts in Italy.  He plays at concerts and multi-media events in jazz, improvisation, literature and visual arts and has collaborated with John Cage. 

Sergio Armaroli is a composer, percussionist, vibraphonist, teacher and total artist.  His actions resonate through various artistic and musical fields, that of jazz being, perhaps, his most practised.  He declares himself to be a painter, concrete percussionist, fragmentary poet and sound artist as well as founding his work “within the language of jazz and improvisation” as an "extension of the concept of art". 

Harri Sjöström is a member of the Quintet Moderne, though perhaps the least known of the five.  The group is made up of two generations of accomplished improvisers, an all-star, EU combination.  Sjöström has lived in Berlin for a long time and is recognised as one of the best masters of such music in Europe, able to broaden the gamut of his instrument’s expression to the extreme.  His soprano playing impresses, whether through a handsomely pitched passage of brook-like babbling or an impulsive paroxysm of staccato tonguing. 

Free improvisation does not rely on the formal structures of the pieces being played – indeed there may be no structure.  Expressive revelations of the music’s interior are achieved through the musicians’ empathy and so can they create such eloquent performances.

Reviewed by Ken Cheetham

Sergio Armaroli is on the vibes, mixing and matching with Harri Sjostrom on soprano and sopranino saxes and trombonist Giancarlo Schiaffini for eight duets and four duets. The duets are between Armaroli and Sjostrom, with kinetic works on “Duet Eight” and “Duet Seven” and popping pithes for “Duet Two“ and “Duet Five”. The trio format has the three create Monkish right angles on “Trio Two” and some squawks on “Trio Three” while the team loosely unravels on “Trio One”. Fluid flowings.

by George W. Harris

di Alberto Bazzurro

ARMAROLI / SCHIAFFINI / SJÖSTRÖM DUOS & TRIOS Leo Excellent craftsmanship, Openness to various forms the avant-garde and a tireless pleasure that sound-technical possibilities the instruments used to explore, guarantee on this CD a free Music of the exclusive kind. Den proven Italian virtuosos Giancarlo Schiaffini (trombone) and Sergio Armaroli (Vibraphone) as well as the highly mobile, born in Finland, for a long time in Berlin living Harri Sjöström, succeeds in nine duo and three trio Recordings a rich, freely improvised music without empty phrases and hanging parts. All the tracks - the Duets only contest Armaroli / Sjöström - know a coherent interplay and a constant dramaturgical Tension. Armaroli, Schiaffini and Sjöström emphasize the characteristics the nature of theirs Instruments, but achieve also an amazing sonic one Closeness with almost congruent Color values. Sharp outlines Sound particles, percussiveness get on this exciting longplayer as well Space like pausing, calm sliding moments of chamber music Intimacy. UDO ANDRIS