WWW.FREEJAZZBLOG.ORG, May 16, 2019; Cene Resnik Watch the Dogs Trio - Shades of Colors (Not Two, 2017) ****1/2

This great album somehow slipped beneath the radar. It brings together fellow-Slovenian tenor sax player Cene Resnik, a frequent collaborator of Kaučič, with another of his close collaborators, Italian double bass player Giovanni Meier. The trio was recorded in “beautiful old church” - St. Mary of the Annunciation - in Crngrob, Slovenia, in September 2016.

Resnik a soft and gentle voice, often a lyrical one, rooted in jazz legacy but totally free. Maier and Kaučič are perfect partners for this kind of chamber, intimate - a collection of “Conversations That Never Stop” as the last piece is titled. Both color the searching yet harmonious phrases of Resnik and his careful and patient investigation of overtones and multiphonics with minimalist but precise touches, offering great timbral sensitivity. Kaučič work with the cymbals and inventive percussive sounds throughout the extended pieces “Zemlja (Suite of Crngrob)”, “Thieves Came Quietly”, “Satellites” and the last piece is truly remarkable, always enriching the deep melodic veins of Resnik with great senses of imagination and invention.

(Eyal Hareuveni)

WWW.JAZZWORD.COM: September 1, 2018; Cene Resnik: Shades Of Colors

Confirmation once again of the universality of improvised music, as well as testimony that heightened creativity may result from a shared background, are these CDs headed by Slovenian tenor saxophonists. Arguably that part of the former Yugoslavia, which has benefitted the most from that patched-together country’s break-up, since its birth in 1991 the new country has flourished, with an unexpected by-product exposure for adventurous musicians.

Novo Mesto-born Igor Lumpert has followed one particular path. After studies and gigs in Austria and Germany, he moved to New York in 2000, and the Brooklyn-recorded Eleven otherwise features American players. While he also studied in Austria, Cene Resnik elected to stay closer to home; he lives and works in Ljubljana. Recorded in Crngrob, Slovenia, Shades of Colors demonstrates Resnik’s mastery of free improvisation just as Eleven establishes Lumpert comfort with more restrained Jazz. Crucially Resnik’s Watch for Dogs Trio includes two players who often work together locally: Slovenian percussionist Zlatko Kaučič and bassist Giovanni Maier, who hails from nearby Trieste, Italy.

From the top, Resnik, Kaučič and Maier develop a strategy which utilizes the strengths of the rhythm section as the saxophonist explores the overtone limits of his instrument. The nearly 16-minute “Zemlja (Suite of Crngrob)” exemplifies this concept at its broadest. Backed by positioned thumps from the drummer and string rumbling from the bassist, the saxophonist sophisticatedly extends the theme via multiphonic trills, growls and finely focused runs, creating a near visual picture of controlled pastoralism modified with urbanized exploration. Add yeoman-strength bowing from Maier and coloration from Kaučič’s cymbal clanks and the epitome of calm timbral mastery is exhibited.

With the briefer tracks that follow amplifications and concentrations of what precedes them, this series of codas makes space for staccato and slurred reed notes, swelling double-bass bow action and abundant drum rhythms. Earlier slap-tongue tone-stretching from Resnik moves to the sidelines on “Kosovelovo domotožje” to give Maier a showcase for his sul ponicello triple stopping and reverses. Meanwhile the percussionist confirms his skill on kit and cymbals throughout, weaving color insertions and patterning cadences into the tracks with surgical precision. Resnik, who earlier on has shown how mainstream references can be worked into a Free-Jazz session without lurching into sweetness, exits the session with honks, bites and blasts , backed by harsh string plucks. Titles of the last and penultimate compositions define what transpired: “Articulation complete” and finally “Conversations that never stop”.

Lumpert & Innertexture are also involved with conversations. But despite high-quality contributions from all concerns, it often appears as if too many guests have been invited to the party. The basic band consists of Lumpert, Greg Ward on alto saxophone, bassist Chris Tordini and drummer Kenny Grohowski, with trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson guesting on two tracks and bass clarinetist John Ellis on one. Frankly the extra horns aren’t needed. From the start the quartet tracks are the most fully realized, with Lumpert and Grohowski developing a Trane-Elvin routine that plays upon and off each other’s strengths, Ward’s swift, buzz-saw tone creates an accomplished foil to the tenor saxophonist’s style, while Tordini steadies the rhythm. “XmD” and “Paha” show how staccato snarls and moderated tone slips can play out between two distinctive reedists, complementing and balancing coloratura reed bites and moderated chalumeau slurs as pinpointed cymbal raps and corrosive ruffs from the drummer back up the sound strategies. Although the trumpet exposition expands initial expositions, especially on the funky title tune, which also features Grohowski’s fiery crackle, pops and bounces; and while bass clarinet slurs produce a stop-time bounce to the harmonies in its one outing, what’s gained from a fuller sound is lost in cohesion. The space allocated would have better served the quartet’s individual identity with more room for Tordini as well as other expressions of Innertexture’s band identity.

Be that as it may, both CDs reflect mature work by developing Slovenian saxophonists. On the evidence here, Resnik has reached a notable plateau on which he can further build, while the singular talents of Lumpert and associates could in the future be better organized with more thoughts to group cohesion.

(Ken Waxman)

WWW.ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM: May 24, 2018; Cene Resnik: Shades Of Colors

Il sassofonista sloveno Cene Resnik e uno dei giovani protagonisti della libera improvvisazione europea. Terminati i suoi studi al conservatorio di Klagenfurt, Austria, da una decina d'anni s'e dedicato alla libera esplorazione musicale, in una prospettiva che cerca relazioni tra le forme sonore e gli stati della mente.

Dopo la bella prova di From the Sky (Clean Feed, 2014) realizzata in un quartetto che gia comprendeva Giovanni Maier al contrabbasso, Resnik aggiunge a questi il percussionista Zlatko Kaucic, altro riconosciuto maestro della libera improvvisazione continentale.

Il libero interplay di questo trio —inciso il settembre 2016 nell'antica chiesa slovena di Crngrob —si sviluppa con ammirevole senso della forma e alta modalita costruttiva. I dieci temi del disco sono composizioni istantanee che bilanciano l'asimmetria della dimensione melodica con il particolare equilibrio delle dinamiche e dei timbri.

La ricerca astratta del trio «Watch for Dogs» si snoda con con lucida compostezza cameristica senza sacrificare i contributi personali. Resnik si conferma un improvvisatore fantasioso che interagisce alla pari coi magistrali partner, in un'esplorazione attenta ai dettagli ma capace di slanci passionali d'intenso estro creativo. Track Listing: Shades of Colors; Kraljeva slika; Kosovelovo domotožje; Zemlja (Suite of Crngrob); Volcano — The Steamer; Thieves Came Quietly; Agitación natural; Satellites; Articulation Complete; Conversations That Never Stop.

Personnel: Cene Resnik: tenor saxophone; Giovanni Maier: double bass; Zlatko Kaučič: drums, cymbals.

Title: Shades of Colors | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Not Two Records


WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/MACIEJ.LEWENSTEIN, 27. december 2017; **** Cene Resnik Trio "Watch for Dogs": Shades of Colors

Watch For Dog is the name of the trio of another great Slovenian musician, Cene Resnik. Quoting his web page: "Tenor saxophonist Cene Resnik, lives and creates in Ljubljana. In last years he is dedicated to a free improvised music. Despite finishing his formal education at the Jazz conservatory in Klagenfurt, Austria, he was showing interest in marginal music scene where creative music, instant composing and free improvised music are rooted. Accordingly, he founded a quartet of creative musicians, playing free improvised music with the post jazz derivatives. Recently, he is working in a Slovenian group Trojnik (with Tomas Grom, doublebass/electronics and Vid Drasler, drums/percussion). He is also leading his own trio Watch For Dogs (with Giovanni Maier on doublebass and Zlatko Kaučič on drums/percussion) ".

This fantastic album was recorded by Iztok Zupan in a beautiful old church in Crngrob, Slovenia the sound is indeed amazing. It starts with a short title track, which illustrates the spirit of the recording very well: it is free improvised music, but with some elements of themes and suggestions of structures. I would dare to call it 21st century deconstructing of Ornette Coleman,. The second track is a beatiful ballad "Kraijeva slika". "Kosovelovo domotozje" is perhaps the most abstract tune, with a great bowing work of Meier. It stats with a bowing solo of the bass. The trio joins after one minute and a half and starts to develop open structures, with very delicate drumming.

But, the highlight of the record is clearly the 16 minutes long "Zemija (Suite iof Crngrob)". It starts also very delicately, with delicate phrases from Cene, Giovanni bowing again, and Zlatko providing a quiet background. After fi ve minutes the atmosphere starts to become denser, although it is still a quiet, ballad like tune. The explosion comes around the 13th minute. A great nal!!! Out of the remaining 6 tracks I dig the slow "Thieves Come Quietly" and the powerful "Agitation Natural". "Satellites" should not be ignored neither. It is the most beautiful ballad on the CD. "Shades of Colors" is a great album, on which everybody is magni ficent, but Zlatko is particularly brilliant. He proves once more his absolutely exclusive and outstanding role as an "abstract melodist" in the world of free improvising drummers.

(Maciej Lewenstein)


Bogati beri domačih jazz albumov, pod katere so se zadnji čas podpisovali predvsem glasbeniki mlajše generacije, nocoj dodajamo še en izdelek. Vodja tokratne zasedbe oziroma bolje - njen pobudnik je saksofonist Cene Resnik. V triu Watch for Dogs se mu pridružujeta tolkalist Zlatko Kaučič ter Giovanni Maier na kontrabasu. Nastanek te troglave postave sega v leto 2014, do danes pa si je Cene z obema od ostalih dveh delil oder tudi v duo zasedbi. Ob tema kaljenima mačkonoma je mlajši saksofonist zagotovo najmanj izkušen, vendar zato nikakor ne tudi zelen. Že kar številna leta nabiranja koncertne kilometrine z mnogimi skupinami in sodelovanji ter njegova dobro sprejeta avtorska dela ga umeščajo v krog naših najbolj plodovitih jazzistov. A navkljub temu bi se lahko pojavila bojazen, da ga bo eminentni dvojec Kaučič-Maier zasenčil in prevzel pozornost nase. Oba sta namreč v svoji domači goriški in furlanski regiji osrednji in gonilni figuri proste improvizacije. Prav zato pa je skrb odveč, saj jima že značilnosti tovrstnih godb preprečujejo prevlado v skladbah. Zaradi pogoste odsotnosti vodilnih vlog v zasedbah prostih godb in kompozicijske odprtosti je merilo uspeha prej prožnost interakcij kot pa tehnično izkazovanje pod žarometom.

Album Shades of Colors zaznamuje široka paleta zvokov in zvočnih odtenkov, vendar ti v zvočni sliki niso združeni v baročno prenasičenost. Večinoma se menjujejo v bolj minimalističnem slogu, ko se glasbeniki izmenično osredotočajo na določen način rokovanja s svojim glasbilom, Kaučič pa še na izbiro med bobni, činelami in ostalimi predmeti. V ospredju se večinoma razvija dialog med dvema inštrumentoma, ki družno nihata v intenziteti igranja in se melodično dopolnjujeta, pri čemer niti tolkala ne zaostajajo. Mirnejše dele zaznamujejo počasi razvijajoče se fraze saksofona, ki se ob spustu v nižje registre ponekod pomešajo z zvoki Maierjevih strun. Podobno se ob nekaterih bolj intenzivnih delih v igri zbližata z odrezavimi vpihi in piski ter brenkljaji strun kontrabasa.

Ne glede na združevanje in razhajanje saksofona in kontrabasa je gostota zvoka in igranja v glavnem narekovana z zveni in udarci Kaučičevih tolkal, ki so lahko izvor raznolikih glasov. Počasnejše interakcije med glasbeniki so kot zabrisane lirične in mehke impresije, medtem ko se ob večji intenzivnosti spreobrnejo v ostre linije ekspresionističnih izlivov. Ti so na plošči umirjeno odmerjeni in ne naraščajo do hitrega visokofrekvenčnega nizanja fraz ali tolkalskih rafalov, kot se pogosto dogaja pri freejazzu. Morebiti je temu botroval tudi prostor, kjer je snemanje potekalo. Z veščim snemalnim sodelavcem Iztokom Zupanom so za svoje improvizacijske seanse izkoristili akustiko neke cerkve v vasi Crngrob na Gorenjskem, posnetke pa je nato izdala ugledna poljska založba Not Two Records.

Ker so skladbe izvedene brez kompozicijskega dela, lahko očitamo neupravičenost dejstva, da je Cene Resnik naveden kot vodja tria, čeprav je album Shades of Colors plod spontanega dela vseh od trojice. Četudi je to majhno pokroviteljstvo ostalih dveh, ki potrditve v svetu več ne potrebujeta, se je Cene ob njunem boku izkazal kot enakovreden član, samozavestno stopajoč po poti svojega glasbenega izraza. Poleg tega s saksofonom pogosto prevzame vlogo, ki povezuje posamezne dele skladb. Z vztrajanjem pri določenih načinih igranja in potrpežljivim razvijanjem posameznih delov je skladbam spontano gradil strukturo. Daljši teksturno konsistentni deli tako nadomeščajo kompozicijsko zasnovo, ko instrumentalna igra po vsakem prosto izvedenem delu navadno preide v osrednji motiv.

Če ploščo postavimo ob bok nedavno recenziranima There Be Monsters Boštjana Simona in Surface of Inscription Dreja Hočevarja, je Cenetov glasbeni izraz bliže slednjemu. Oba se namreč v igri poskušata dokopati do stanja nereferenčnosti in samonanašanja v improvizaciji, medtem ko je Boštjanu Simonu bliže žanrsko stapljanje in kombiniranje. Album je torej enkraten dogodek, definiran s konstelacijami zavesti glasbenikov in prežet z duhom prostora. Drejev metodični pristop temelji na miljeju zahodne filozofije in kognitivne znanosti, kar izgleda diametralno nasproteno Cenetovemu. Slednji se k igranju spušča v meditativnem stanju, ki ga poglablja z dolgoletnim prakticiranjem budizma. A čeprav se avtorja iskanja tega grala ustvarjalnosti lotevata z nasprotnih bregov, to ne pomeni, da se pri tem ne napajata iz istega izvira.