WWW.ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM: December 24, 2016; Daniele D'Agaro, Giovanni Maier, Zlatko Kaućić: Disorder At The Border Plays Ornette

Ornette Coleman's compositions have been reinterpreted many times and by all kind of musicians, often with less than optimal results. His pieces, deceptively simple on the surface, have always some aspects that are quite difficult to grasp, and they are so personal that sometimes they seem to work only if the author (or some of his closest associates) is involved... Exceptions exist of course, and one of the most successful recent attempts at "playing Ornette" is this new record by the italian-slovenian trio Disorder at the Border (pun definitely intended).

The instrumentation is nothing exotic—woodwinds, bass and drums—and yet, the multiple colors available in Daniele D'Agaro's instrumentation, supported and propelled by Giovanni Maier's resonant bass and the energetic drumming of Zlatko Kaućić, give the proceedings an instantly engaging quality, thanks also to the immediate, lively quality of the recording, that captures the trio's performance at the Italian "Jazz & Wine of Peace Festival" in October 2015. There's a strong connection to Ornette's first acoustic ensembles, but the compositions chosen here are atypical for this kind of projects—they come from later phases of Coleman's career and they were often recorded with completely different instrumentations. This contrast serves the music well, indeed, presenting familiar themes in completely different incarnations, revealing in the process new details and possible interpretations.

"New York" begins with the distinctive theme played on the tenor sax, supported by the polyrhythms of bass and drums, and then develops in different sections alternating between tight free-bop exchanges and textural pianissimo excursions made of atonal contrabass pizzicatos and bass clarinet ruminations, slowly building a steady rhythm just to pulverize it again in simultaneous sonic explorations. The rest of the record is equally engaging—the rubato approach and delicate clarinet lines perfectly capture the melancholic subtext of "Mob Job," while on "Him & Her" the musicians build at first a complex, abstract three-way dialogue, finally liberating the groove in the second part of the piece. The record ends with "Comme Il Faut," that summarizes the overall character of the album, framing a richly textured suspended section with bluesy, groove oriented materials, and the inevitable, but always well calibrated, bursts of pure energy. All three musicians are technically impeccable and inventive improvisers, and throughout the album they approach Coleman's idiosyncratic compositions with unusual confidence and a refreshing spontaneity, never losing sight of the lyrical and exuberant character of the originals while putting their personal indelible mark on them.

Track Listing: New York; Mob Job; Faithful; The Garden of Souls; Him & Her; Comme il Faut.

Personnel: Daniele D’Agaro: alto & tenor sax, clarinet & bass clarinet; Giovanni Maier: double bass; Zlatko Kaučič: drums and percussion

(NICOLA NEGRI)


RADIOSTUDENT.SI: 18. 12. 2016; DISORDER AT THE BORDER: PLAYS ORNETTE

V zasedbi Disorder At The Border so moči združili trije mojstri freejazzovskih in improviziranih muzik, od katerih dva zelo dobro poznamo tudi z domačih koncertnih odrov. Ja, za ritem v triu skrbita tolkalec in bobnar Zlatko Kaučič ter njegov tesni sodelavec, italijanski kontrabasist Giovanni Maier, tretji član tria pa je Maierjev rojak, saksofonist in klarinetist Daniele D'Agaro. Ime zasedbe so si izposodili od legendarnega ameriškega jazzovskega saksofonista Colemana Hawkinsa oziroma naslova njegove skladbe iz leta 1952, o tem, zakaj prav to ime, pa verjetno ni treba preveč ugibati. Ko so konec novembra 2013 nastopili v Divači in posnetek pozneje objavili v obliki plošče, begunska kriza sicer še ni zajela celotne Evrope, bržkone pa je izbiri imena vsaj deloma botroval tragičen brodolom, v katerem je slaba dva meseca prej blizu obale italijanske Lampeduse utonilo tristo šestdeset afriških beguncev, pa tudi takratni ignorantski odnos Bruslja, ki je življenjske usode ljudi prepuščal južnoevropskim državam. No, potem ko je begunski val lani preplavil Evropo, ponovno združenje tria ni bilo le logično, pač pa tako rekoč nujno. Kaučič, Maier in D'Agaro so konec lanskega oktobra na Jazz & Wine festivalu v italijanskem Krminu zato spet skupaj stopili na oder, repertoar pa sestavili iz skladb lani preminulega jazzovskega velikana Ornetta Colemana.

Od trojice takega kalibra seveda ni šlo pričakovati klasičnega preigravanja Colemanovih standardov, pač pa njihovim posamičnim in skupnemu izrazu prikrojene interpretacije. Prav tukaj pa bi morebiti lahko iskali vzroke za previdnost. Ker gre v primeru vseh treh za glasbenike, ki so izoblikovali zelo močne, prepoznavne lastne izraze, bi se na koncu namreč povsem lahko zgodilo, da bi v interpretacijah ostalo bore malo "Ornetta". Toda izkazalo se je, da je bil ta pomislek odveč. Bodisi zaradi spoštovanja do Colemana in njegove zapuščine bodisi zato, ker je šlo za ekspliciten poklon, ali še raje zaradi kombinacije obojega. Ja, vsi trije glasbeniki imajo za sabo predolgo kilometrino in znajo, takrat ko je to potrebno, svoje ege postaviti ob stran. To je očitno tudi na novi plošči, kar pa ne pomeni, da zato v skladbah ni slišati njih samih. Deloma zagotovo tudi na račun tega, da nad njimi med igro pač ni bedel Coleman, ki je znal (preveč) umiriti tudi take veljake, kot sta bila Elvin Jones in Jimmy Garrison. Kaučič in Maier si razumljivo vzameta več prostora in privoščita več kompleksne ritmičnosti, a takrat, ko to zahtevajo skladbe, hkrati iniciativo brez zadržkov prepustita D'Agarovim saksofonom in klarinetom. Ta pa se v Colemanovih motivih, tudi takrat ko jih obrne po svoje, znajde zelo dobro. Ker je šest skladb nabranih z različnih albumov, ki jih je Coleman objavil med sredino šestdesetih in sredino osemdesetih let, so izvirniki stilsko bolj različni, kljub temu pa trojec v svojih zvočno in izrazno bolj minimalističnih interpretacijah lepo ujame njihovo bistvo in jim pogosto, bodisi subtilno ali z več drznosti, doda nekaj svojega. Izvrsten primer tega je denimo izvrstna, tukaj za približno deset minut podaljšana različica skladbe Him And Her, ki jo trojec preobleče v epsko izpoved z močnim bluesovskim značajem. Ja, s ploščo Plays Ornette se Disorder At The Border predstavi kot izvrstno uigran trio, ki se zelo dobro znajde v različnih (jazzovskih) pristopih pa tudi v ustvarjanju različnih razpoloženj.



(GORAN KOMPOŠ)


MUSICA JAZZ: May, 2016; Disorder at the Border

Voce di D’Agaro in un trio con Kaucic e Maier preso dal vivo il 30-11-13 a Divaca, in Slovenia. C’e il tumulto del tenore nei brani free che si alterna alla pacatezza quasi pastorale in altri. D’Agaro e autorevole, pienamente in controllo dell’espressione, anche la piu eruttiva, verso il cui destino i compagni sanno sempre accompagnarlo. E un’occasione, inoltre, per ascoltare Kaucic, uno dei batteristi piu intelligenti in circolazione.



(Dalla Bona)


WWW.ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM: May, 2016; Giovanni Maier, Daniele D'Agaro, Zlatko Kaucic / Disorder at the Border (Palomar 2014)

Proprio dal vivo dal vivo -stavolta nel novembre del 2013 al Jazz Hram di Divaca, in Slovenia -e registrato Disorder at the Border, in seguito apprezzato al Jazz&Wine di Cormons 2015 (clicca qui per leggere la recensione del concerto). Assieme a Maier troviamo due suoi storici collaboratori, Daniele D'Agaro al sax tenore e al clarinetto, Zlatko Kaucic alle percussioni. La musica e oltremodo libera -tutti i brani sono completamente improvvisati -anche se le atmosfere variano molto: ne e esempio il passaggio da "Disorder #3" al "#4," cioe da una situazione dinamicamente molto intensa ed espressivamente caratterizzata dai suoni lancinanti del tenore a una invece molto piu soffusa, su suoni cameristici meno magmatici, nella quale anche l'ascesa del tempo ha una funzione squisitamente narrativa.

Valutazione: * * * 1/2

(NERI POLLASTRI)


JAZZWORD: December 26, 2015; Disorder at the Border, Palomar Records 50

Related to the Free Jazz branch of the music Disorder at the Border features three European musical masters in a prolonged improvisation cheekily named for Coleman Hawkins’ 1952 recording. The players are two Italians: tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Daniele D’Agaro and bassist Giovanni Maier, plus Slovenian percussionist Zlatko Kaučič, all of whom have played together in various configurations as well as with a cross section of Euro-Improvisers. Recorded in Divaiča,
Moving from the land of the Free (Improv) to the Land of (Free) Jazz, Disorder at the Border starts off as frenetic as any late Trane-Frank Wright New Thing blow-out and like the infantry calling for more heavy artillery goes on and up from that point, almost never stopping for respite during its more than 741-minute playing time. There are pauses among each of the tracks, but considering what happens immediately afterwards, it’s like the breaks taken as horses are prepared for a run at the race track. Throughout, D’Agaro, who often worked with drummers Zeno di Rossi and Han Bennink, jumps into the fray not only with braying Trane-out-of-Hawkins tenor tones, but also adds pan flute-like clarinet slurs. Kaučič who has partnered sax masters ranging from Evan Parker to Peter Brötzmann; and Maier who has played with just about everyone else; take the saxophonist’s headlong rush in stride. The bull fiddler can pump strings with the strength of an Olympic weightlifter when he wants; as well as being dainty as an ice-dancer when the need arises. Meanwhile the percussionist’s beats trick bag keep the rhythm going, with clatters and pops that arise more from bell trees and other items that resonate like clay pots rather than heavy percussion artillery.
An uncommon mix of Trad Jazz-like pitches from the clarinet plus Afro-Cuban whacks from the percussionist, “Disorder #4” explores one particular method of improvisation, while “Disorder #5” appears to explore as many strategies as the European Union has financial-bailout plans. Maier is upfront here creating theme variations with the originality of origami-paper folds. Ending with a sweeping arco line that balances the shaky contributions of the other two as if standing on a Boscu ball, this allows D’Agaro to stretch his tenor saxophone solos from skywards shooting Trane-like licks to moderato Ben Webster-Hawkins variations. Kaučič’s Art Blakey-like cymbal clanks properly fit each reed modification.
Although the saxophonist and drummer go at it hammer-and-tongs with tongue slaps and reed bites and odd-meter crashes and crashes throughout, the concluding “Disorder #6” is as good a demonstration of Kaučič’s work as any. Creating a percussive continuum from the bottom, his bouncing recoils and runs limit the initial cacophonous exposition to mid-range clarinet draughts and beaten low-pitched strings that together resemble plainsong chanting. A distinct bugle-call-like tone from D’Agaro signals the final motif with the trio producing as many energetic and extended tune variations as at the top.

(Ken Waxman)


ALL ABOUT JAZZ: october 2015; Festival JAZZ&Wine 2015 - Disorder at the Border

Subito dopo, in un frenetico rincorrersi di perle, all'azienda agricola Borgo San Daniele in pieno Cormons, ha suonato il trio Disorder at The Border, vale a dire Daniele D'Agaro, Giovanni Maier e Zlatko Kaucic. La formazione, che ha all'attivo un eccellente CD, ha offerto per l'occasione un tributo a Ornette, basando il concerto su alcune sue composizioni, che servivano pero da spunto per un dialogo improvvisato piuttosto liberamente tra i tre—cosa, questa, comunque senz'altro coerente con il tributo al sassofonista di Fort Worth. Il foltissimo pubblico che si accalcava nel giardino dell'azienda ha potuto assistere a uno dei momenti piu alti del concerto—e fa piacere che si trattasse di musicisti locali, ancorché di riconosciuta caratura internazionale, perché cio ha confermato per l'ennesima volta la fertilita di queste terre non solo in campo vinicolo. Se Maier e Kaucic hanno squadernato le loro ben note qualita, che li collocano ai vertici tra gli interpreti dei rispettivi strumenti, D'Agaro ha sorpreso suonando in prevalenza il sax contralto, strumento che raramente lo si vede imbracciare, mostrando anche su quello grande maestria e, in particolare, un'energia espressiva che al tenore e al clarinetto di solito dosa maggiormente.

(NERI POLASTRI)


IL MANIFESTO: october 24.2015; Disorder at the Border

Tra le cose migliori ascoltate l’omaggio al genio armolodico di Ornette Coleman scomparso lo scorso Giugno da parte di un trio tansnazionale a cominciare dal nome, Disorder at the Border, con Daniele D’Agaro alle ance, Giovanni Maier al contrabbasso e Zlatko Kaucic alle percussioni. D’Agaro imbraccia prevalentemente il sax alto a scapito dei consueti tenore e clarinetto: un contralto sputafuoco. Un tributo amorevolmente irrispettoso da parte di tre salutari sabotatori. Appena accennati i temi, tra questi Mob Job e la ballad Faithful, e poi liberta assoluta, umorismo, furore e invenzioni a rotta di collo.

(Flavio Massaruto)


WWW.CADENCEJAZZWORLD.COM: April 2015; ALBUM REVIEWS - ROUND-UP OF THE LATEST RELEASES

Also duo is ENA/ONE [Klopotec IZKCD 026] by ZLATKO KAUČIČ [drm/voice] and MILKO LAZAR [p/ss]. This live concert is total improvisation, no words, rehearsals or expectations. The concert consists of 13 parts/tracks which move purposely along over more than 70 minutes. Kaučič’s “voice” parts are minor and are sort of a conversation with his percussion work. Lazar, using a Steinway D, plays piano on all but one track, when he plays a prepared piano it effects 95 percussion instruments. The duo works nicely parallel with each other, sometimes melodically sometimes not but always in unison; free perhaps but not a free-for-all.

ZLATKO KAUČIČ joins GIOVANNI MAIER-b and DANIELE D’AGARO-reeds on a freeform concert called DISORDER AT THE BORDER [Palomar records 50]. D’Agaro plays sax and clarinet on this program of 6 tracks [74:32] and shows a good touch of Evan Parker. Maier wields his bow with a solid soul development. As with the CD concert above the players listen closely and work in sync with each other. Music has come a long way to work in such an intuitive manner. Veterans at work.

(Bob Rusch)


WWW.FREEJAZZBLOG.ORG: 10. Mai 2015; Giovanni Maier, Daniele D'Agaro & Zlatko Kaucic - Disorder At The Border (Palomar, 2015) ****

For those who are interested in how free improvisation can lead to a huge variety of tunes should listen to this album. Slovenian master drummer Zlatko Kaucic plays in his home country at a jazz festival (recorded end 2013) in the presence of Giovanni Maier, an Italian bassists whose skills I've praised before and Daniele D'Agoro on reeds, who played with the Mitteleuropa Ensemble before, but also with musicians such as von Schlippenbach, Bennink, Bishop, Delius, . Maier hails from the north east of Italy, not too far from the border with Slovenia, and I assume the album's title refers to this.

The first track is a real power-tune, with all three musicians playing up a storm, tight and focused and fierce, shifting gears completely for the next piece, which is quiet, subtle and subdued and intense at the same time, a great moment for all three musicians to let us enjoy the pure quality of the sound of their instruments, clarinet, pizzi bass and refined percussion, growing in volume and force near the end.

They can also move into more playful moods such as on the fourth piece, or some telepathic interplay as on the fifth, with sudden pauses and simultaneous continuation. They sing, they dance, they play around like kids, they seem to enjoy their pyrotechnics and acrobatics, and so does this listener, but they go deeper than this, adding some great emotional or even spiritual content at times.

Recommended!

(Michael Tschida)


KRONENZEITUNG : 10. Mai 2015; Frischer Wind, starke Frauen und eine Erhu

„Schnittpunkte“-Festival im Südburgenland.

Dieses avancierte Programm könnte wohl genauso gut in New York, London oder Berlin begeistern. Aber nein, es lockt nach Heiligenkreuz ins Lafnitztal. Dort präsentiert Udo Preis ab heute wieder „Schnittpunkte der Musik“.

„Und doch weht frischer Wind in allen Ecken und aus allen Enden“, verspricht der Kulturmotor aus dem Südburgenland, der seit Gründung des Kulturvereins „Limmitationes“ 1991 auf Hochtouren läuft. Preis verweist stolz auf den starken Frauenanteil, mit dem sein Festival für improvisierte Musik diesmal aufwartet. Ob die britische Schlagzeugerin Sophie Fishwick, Chiao-Hua Chang auf der zweisaitigen chinesischen Kniegeige Erhu oder die Tänzerinnen Anna Adensamer und Katharina Ruf: Bei den sechs Konzerten heute und morgen sowie der frei zugängigen Matinee samt Radikalimprovisation aller Teilnehmer am Sonntag geben insgesamt 13 Frauen den Ton an. Weil aber - so viel Gen-dergerechtigkeit muss schon sein - auch Männer mitmachen dürfen, seien etwa gleich drei Schlagzeug-Großmeister genannt: Gerry Hemingway aus den USA im Duo mit dem Posaunisten Samuel Blaser, Zlatko Kaučič aus Slowenien im Trio sowie Sabu Toyozumi aus Japan mit der rumänischstämmigen Wiener Vokalistin Claudia Cer-venca.

(Michael Tschida)


KRONENZEITUNG : 10. Mai 2015; Befreiungserlebnisse im Südosten

Mit einer finalen Massenimprovisation geht heute Mittag das Festival „Schnittpunkte der Musik“ im südburgenländischen Heiligenkreuz zu Ende. Seit Freitag wurde dort auf Betreiben des unerhört produktiven Vereins „limmitationes“ der Kunst des freien Fantasierens gehuldigt - auf höchstem internationalen Niveau.

Free Jazz lag am Freitag zwischen ausgedehnten Impro-Sets. Das Trio „Disorder at the border“ mit dem slowenischen Schlagzeug-Guru Zlatko Kaučič und den Italienern Giovanni Maier (Kontrabass) sowie Daniele D’Agaro (Klarinette, Tenor-sax) bescherte den Gästen im gediegenen Landspeisesaal des Gasthofs Pummer energiegewaltige Befreiungserlebnisse im Wechsel mit kammermusikalischen Einkehrpausen. Die tief spirituelle Tradition dieser Musik wurde in tonalen Dialogen von Bass und Blasinstrumenten deutlich greifbar, und Zlatko Kaučič war mehr Moderator als Kommentator, unerhört feinsinnig im Bereitstellen vielschichtiger Schlagzeug-Texturen. Bildkräftige Klangszenen voll traditionsbewusster Poesie zogen im farbenreichen An-und Abschwellen der Musik vorbei und kulminierten zuletzt in einem haltlos irrlich-ternden Espressivo des Tenorsaxofons über knatternden Drone-Wogen.

Zwischen postmodernem Expressionismus, Urwald-Vielstimmigkeit und synergiereichem Mäandern durch Klang und Geräusch hatten sich zuvor sieben improvisierende Instrumentalisten -Holzbläser, Laptop, Erhu (chinesische Kniegeige), Cello, Schlagzeug - bewegt, mit den Tänzerinnen Anna Adensamer und Katharina Ruf als hochpräsenten Bühnenpartnerinnen. Am Ende des erlebnisreichen Abends verknüpfte das multisolisti-sche Hanam Quintett noisi-ges Toben mit schillernden Flächen, Weltraum-Schlieren mit Puszta-Melancholie, wobei Alison Blunts Geige mit konkreten, melodischen Motiven entscheidende, beseelte Impulse setzte.

(MW)