7k Oaks - 7000 Oaks (CD Die Schachtel)

Although recorded in the studio in Rome, August 2007, it sounds all of a live situation. Maybe that's due to some smartly judged producing? The interaction between the quartet of free-jazzmeisters is tight and not as 'out' as presumed. There are brief moments where the all-out blat is tempered -for example on 'foxp2'- but the somewhat masculine sound soon returns like a rough and tumble time out. 

Alfred 23 harth on sax, clarinet and electronics, Luca Venitucci on piano, accordion and objects (oh yes! That old chestnut!),Massimo Pupillo on bass, and Fabrizio Spera on drums. Their play veers towards good sense. Melodic squelch sax and wish-wash keys interact with taps and -best of all- what sounds like polystyrene being rubbed. These are countered by the tugs and pulls of bells and a tumbling bass that occasionally offers the promise of an anchor to it all. Annoyingly there's a  thick fuzzed guitar sizzling through now and again. Oh for the good old days of a clean twang guitar. 

Those used to the more ferocious and uncompromising end of free-jazz may well find this unchallenging, but it's a fine bridge between the worlds. 

It's presented in a classy digipak, as is the norm in the label's Zeit series of releases devoted to documenting the current music of Italy. HM

Contact: www.dieschachtel.com