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Flatime by ElectroAcoustic Silence

ElectroAcoustic Silence, also known as EASilence, is a collaborative effort involving an Italian jazz quartet and Japanese electronic musician Taketo Gohara. Though Gohara is credited with ‘sound design’ on the CD’s packaging, his contributions to Flatime hearken back to the synthesized swoops, sweeps, boops, and beeps I first heard from artists such as Pat Gleeson on Herbie Hancock’s early 70s LPs, or perhaps to the electronic palette of musique concrete as formulated by Pierre Schaffer and Pierre Henry 20 years prior. The nice thing about Gohara’s work with the quartet on Flatime is that he rarely uses the same approach more than once or twice throughout the CD, even laying out entirely for significant stretches. This enables the oddly-instrumented quartet of bass, drums, trumpet, and bassoon to establish its own identity apart from the electronics.

The jazz quartet, co-led by trumpeter Mirio Cosottini and bassoonist Alessio Pisani, has its own unique approach and successfully engages the listener on its own, even without Gohara’s contributions. Bassoon is an unusual instrument to hear in a jazz or improvised setting – only a few players come quickly to mind: Karen Borca, Michael Rabinowitz, Paul Hanson, Ray Pizzi, Anthony Braxton, Michel Berckmans (of the Belgian prog-fusion group Univers Zero), and Klaus Thunemann (who did outstanding bassoon work with pianist Michael Naura during the 70s). I am not sure who amongst the aforementioned artists Pisani would claim as an influence, though his playing is quite nimble and he consistently utilizes jazzy, saxophone-like phrasing. By contrast, Cosottini’s Miles-influenced trumpet hews toward short, clipped, precise statements, not unlike what you’d expect to hear from a player well-versed in both the jazz and classical realms. The duo employs a surprisingly large amount of composed lines – some quite Ornette-like – over the free-wheeling, omnivorous rhythm section. Bassist Pedol and drummer Melani are adept at a variety of rhythmic feels, though their default mode throughout Flatime is an unhurried, sparse, economical 4/4 funk that has its roots in Miles Davis circa ‘In A Silent Way.’ The Miles parallels are especially apparent when Pedol switches over to electric bass. Listening to Flatime,I was also cheerfully reminded of some of the genre-busting musical experimentation that sprung forth from Downtown NYC / Knitting Factory scene in the late 80s and early 90s.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: ElectroAcoustic Silence
  • CD Title: Flatime
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2010
  • Record Label: Amirani Records
  • Rating: Three Stars
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