Carnival Skin stumbles across five consummated musicians and brings you back through the labyrinth of beautiful, and the most beautiful of labyrinths: free improvisation. I said labyrinth because it has all the characteristics: illusion, ill-imitation and closing gaps.
Free jazz is a work with high risks, but for those who love to live on the edge of a knife, it is also the way to measure its effort with its tiredness. The illusion hidden in Carnival Skin lies in the fact that one can think that few people will adhere, but its beauty seems to us as it imposes itself and will impose itself on us all.
Peter Evans is well established as an improviser and trumpeter in the New York scene. Evans transports us to unknown limits with the explorations and inventiveness he deploys with his trumpets.
Perry Robinson complies with unconventional styles through conventional ones with the dexterity of a magician. His exertion with musicians Carla Bley, Archie Shepp, Bill Dixon, Burton Greene and Mark Whitecage takes the stand off. His high skills are impressive on "Journey to Strange" and "Monster" as well as in "Carnival Skin."
Hilliard Greene is riotous with his bow and strings on "Iono" yet he yields the pace to the trumpet and clarinet lyricism. Klaus Kugel’s theme "Bobosong" provokes prevailing notions of music. Kugel de-orchestrates as perfectly as he orchestrates his cymbals and sticks proving why he is considered to be one of the most resourceful drummers in Germany. Bruce Eisenbiel has a matchless voice that has already appealed to great avant-gardes as Evan Parker, Cecil Taylor, Ellery Eskelin and the prolific William Parker. "Diagonal People" puts Eisenbiel in a high-speed motorboat.
It’s difficult to say that this album is a non-conformist one. It compiles the most creative music that I have recently heard. This is why it can sound mysterious for some and marvelous for others. No one is held to liking a Dali or Van Gogh, a Molière or Spinoza, or a Schubert or Mozart; art is a discrepancy of taste, as is jazz. Art also is loneliness -- and not only for the artist! But loneliness is a call and it should be filled. On this point Bruce Eisenbiel, Klaus Kugel, Perry Robinson, Peter Evans & Hilliard Greene excel with Carnival Skin. Deeper of the men, higher of its desires and its dreams, improvisa-marvelous-tion is here -- the improbable bird which flies us away, as jazz is made of the ground and of the abyss.