WWW.FREEJAZZBLOG.ORG: April 26, 2017; Daniele D'Agaro / Giovanni Maier / Zlatko Kaučič - Disorder at the Border plays Ornette (Not Two, 2016)

Zvočni Sejalec (Sound Shower in Slovene) is dedicated to the memory of the founder and long-time director of the Slovenian festival Jazz Cerkno, Boštjan Cveka. Kaučič conducts a 12 Italian and Slovenian musician orchestra, formed especially for the 20th edition of Jazz Cerkno, featuring double bass player Maier and sax player Cene Resnik (his quartet album, From The Sky, was released by Clean Feed, 2014) . Zvočni Sejalec was recorded live on on May 2015.

The orchestra's emotionally-charged performance is a wild journey through many colorful sonic universes and modes. This orchestra encompasses spacey ballad form on “To Paul”; contrasts Sun Ra Arkestra-tinged, fusion freak-out with guitar riffs that echo the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black” on “Kozmično Doživetje” (Cosmic Experience), with a wild guitar solo by Vitja Balžalorsky; exploring gentle folk motifs on the abstract, collective improvisation “Bombarduon” and popular film themes on “Na Svoji Zemlji”; suggesting its local Mediterranean interpretation to the New-Orleans-ian funeral march on “Kekčeva Pesem” (Kekčeva Song) and concluding with “Srečko Lesica” that deconstructs Balkan themes and then weaves them again until the propulsive, folk dance-like coda.


(Eyal Hareuveni)

WWW.ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM: April 25, 2017; La Creativita Di Zlatko Kaučič

"Seminatore di suono" -questo il significato del titolo sloveno del disco -e dedicato a Boštjan Cvek, organizzatore del festival Jazz Cerkno dove il CD e stato registrato dal vivo nel maggio del 2015, pochi mesi dopo la sua scomparsa. A parte il brano centrale, "Bombarduon," completamente improvvisato, le composizioni sono tutte di Kaucic, che si rifa in alcuni al compositore sloveno Marjan Kozina e che nel concerto si limita alla direzione.

L'organico, che in parte riprende quello dell'Orchestra Senza Confini, e ampio -dodici elementi -ma anche timbricamente ricco e marcatamente ritmico -vi sono due contrabbassi, due batterie e un vibrafono. La cifra e all'avvio di forte intensita, con contrabbassi e batterie a tessere una trama su cui far poggiare i suoni dei fiati, cacofonicamente scatenati, e il vibrafono a pennellare colori aggiunti; prende poi un tono piu sinfonico e drammatico nel secondo brano, dove svetta il sax tenore di Cene Resnik, per scivolare poi su stilemi quasi rock, ma sempre innestati su un robusto tessuto ritmico, in "Kozmicno Doživetje."

Ancora un cambio di scena ci porta l'improvvisato "Bombarduon," etereo di suoni elettrici in avvio, poi scoppiettante con i fiati in dialogo, quindi piu caotico e con un finale quieto e compiuto. I due brani successivi si nutrono invece dei temi di Kozina, che fungono da pretesto per improvvisazioni singole e di gruppo, nello stile caratteristico dalla band, lo stesso che invece viaggia libero, anche frammentandosi e aprendo scenari ritmici e timbrici diversi, nella lunga, conclusiva "Srecko Lesica," che sintetizza una via articolata e inesausta al jazz per big band, quella che in vari modi si sta esplorando e sviluppando tra la Slovenia e il nord est dell'Italia, seguendo suggestioni storiche del free centroeuropeo.



Percussionista Zlatko Kaučič, qui in duo con il pianista e tastierista, anch’esso sloveno, Milko Lazar. Se il primo disco fatto da due Ena-One, IZK CD026 – 2015, rispecchiava molto i canoni dell’improvvisazione, con spunti molto interessanti dovuti all’ottima interazione, quest’ultimo Second Round, IZK CD038 – 2016 si basa troppo sulle armonie dei primi Weather Report (per intenderci quelli di Orange Lady) ed alla lunga risulta piuttosto banale e noiosetto.

Di altra caratura l’ottimo lavoro svolto sempre da Zlatko, qui in vesti di direttore, con la Cerkno Jubileum Orchestra, IZK CD040 – 2016, registrata al Festival di Cerkno (Slo) nel maggio 2015. Un orchestra dove i nomi piu conosciuti sono degli italiani Massimo De Mattia, Luigi Vitale, Giorgio Pacorig e Giovanni Maier e dello sloveno Cene Resnik, la conduction passa tra momenti di improvvisazione collettiva a momenti piu riflessivi (come l’emozionante To Paul), dovuti alla penna di Zlatko. Altra presenza di Zlatko, questa volta come percussionista in trio con Javier Girotto ai fiati e Alexander Balanescu al violino. Registrazioni che vanno dal 2009 al 2013. Musica improvvisata, ma con forti accenni alle matrici europee di musica colta dell’est (Balanescu) ed a quella sanguigna del tango dell’ovest (Girotto). Non a caso il doppio Cd si intitola East West Daydreams, IZK CD039 – 2016. Un bellissimo lavoro che nella successione dei brani, e delle date, mostra l’evoluzione del trio. Un disco da riascoltare piacevolmente.

www.jazzword.com: December 1, 2016; Zlatko Kaučič Cerkno Jubileum Orchestra

Large ensemble organizers are comparable to climbers of Mount Everest: they continue to brave the preparation and discomfort that goes into formulating the ascent for the fulfillment of the completed task. Still despite 21st century socio-economic considerations big bands are still formulated, but with the proviso that for every touring unit literally 100 others come together briefly for a particular program. The ensembles here, each coincidentally led by a percussionist, reflect both side of this equation. Subsidized by merchandise sales, government aid and his own gumption, in between his many other commitments, Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love has kept his Large Unit on the road since 2013. Ana is a distinctive part of its discography because his three compositions add Brazilian rhythms played by Brazilian percussionists to his band already made up of musicians from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

In Memory of Boštjan Cvek is another example of cross border interaction; the featured musicians are from Italy and Slovenia. But while Ana is a boisterous celebration of South American pulses, the other CD by a 12-piece ad-hoc ensemble has a more sombre genesis. Put together by Slovenian percussionist Zlatko Kaučič, who composed and conducted the seven tracks, but doesn’t play on them, it’s a threnody to the recently deceased organizer of the Cerkno Jazz Festival. Not that the imaginative project is lachrymose. Instead it’s reminiscent of a traditional New Orleans Jazz funeral, with a spritely Second Line-like culmination along with a melancholy exposition.

Most of the tunes slide between the parameters Kaučič has set up with even the introductory tracks encompassing Sun Ra-like Arkestra freak-outs, honking reeds, Luigi Vitale’s vibraphone resonations and sharpened trumpet work from Gabriele Cancelli. Morse Code-like judders and oscillating near-signal-processed lines from Giorgio Pacorig’s electric piano join with two drummers’ back beats and Vitja Balžalorsky’s shaking guitar licks to advance a Hard Rock-like hook during “Kozmično Doživetje” and “Bombarduon”, with what could be “Paint it Black” echoes sneaking into the choruses. But there are enough mid-range grace notes from the trumpeter and trills from Massimo de Mattia’s half-legit/half leading-edge flute strategy to stop the polyphonic themes from abandoning improvisation for pop rhythms.

Reflecting Cvek’s – and by extension Kaučič’s – non-genre specific view of music, this concept is carried out throughout the suite as if the band members are sailors in a merchant ship taking items from one port of call to another. Aggressive smacks from dual drummer Vid Drašler and Marko Lasič define the head of “Kekčeva Pesem” until the rhythm girth is punctured by dawdling reed split tones if they were knives thrown at a target. Latterly the deflated combination is perked up from a pseudo-funeral march by de Mattia’s popping flute echoes.

Stop-start string twanging, electronic whizzes and the horns coalescing into a jaunty Slavic-styled melody on the concluding “Srečko Lesica” extend and confirm the stop-time tropes which have been present like untapped veins of gold within earlier tunes. Following an expansive instance of angled string stretching, probably by bassist Giovanni Maier, alternating sections of tutti explosions and solo injections give way to the final sequence where the funeral march is surmounted by a Baltic dance

Dancing sequences, this time affiliated with Brazilian percussion are the leitmotifs of Ana. But while the rhythms played by the two South American percussionists are distinct in themselves, at points they appear to exist in a parallel universe to the Jazz-improv impulses of the other 12 players. On both the first and final track some contrapuntal blending takes place between the hand drummers and the foghorn-like honks from tubaists Per Ake Holmlander and Borre Molstad. But what’s initially just incongruous, like seeing a person wearing both a Rio de Janeiro bikini and an Oslo trooper-style fur hat, becomes disconnected when the narratives speeds up. In both cases while some Latinesque tropes are sensed more than heard, the stop-time tracks are more oriented towards Jazz and Free Music. What then stands out are alto saxophone cries mated with buzzing electronics from turnatablist Tommi Keranen and an extended trumpet solo from Thomas Johansson that is both harmonic and heraldic. A deconstruction of the narrative via Klaus Holm’s baritone saxophone on the concluding “Circle in the Round” produces a melodic welding of Latin American percussion, slapping strings and flute trills from Julie Kjaer.

Ana’s massive (281-minute) focal point, the give-away titled “Riofun”, aims for a comparable admixture, but again like glimpsing different parts of a landscape from a moving train, a complete musical picture never appears. Introduced by backbeat cooperation among Celio de Carvalho and Paulinho Bicolor on ethnic instruments and Andreas Wildhagen and Nilssen-Love playing standard percussion, the Hispanic rhythms are then obscured by other players’ motifs, reappearing audibly for one brief section near the ending. Instead as the tempo intensifies into a swinging pulse, the chief points of interest are parallel counterpoint among two or more instruments from the regular Large Unit. Hippo wadding tuba tones face off against high-pitched reed screeds; melodic guitar licks float unencumbered on top of a blitzkrieg rhythm attack from the two drummers, and an R&B-like slur from one of the alto saxophonists evolves alongside more cerebral string slapping from one of the two bassists. Downward plunger notes from trombonist Mats Äleklint and then the tuba players create a warm interlude that mixes marching music and Mariachi; preserving the audacious improvisational cred while subtly referencing Brazilian echoes.

Large-group fanciers should find much to like in these exercises in cross-border big band blends. Overall though, Kaučič’s sadder singular purpose is more stable and stronger in execution than Nilssen-Love’s attempt at North-South dialogue.

Track Listing: Memory: 1. Pasluš Boštjan 2. To Paul 3. Kozmično Doživetje 4. Bombarduon 5. Na Svoji Zemlji 6. Kekčeva Pesem 7. Srečko Lesica

Personnel: Memory: Gabriele Cancelli (trumpet); Massimo de Mattia (flutes); Boštjan Simon (alto saxophone); Cene Resnik (tenor saxophone); Mimo Cogliandro (bass clarinet); Giorgio Pacorig (electric piano); Vitja Balžalorsky (guitar); Luigi Vitale (vibraphone); Giovanni Maier, Jošt Drašler (bass); Vid Drašler, Marko Lasič (drums, percussion) and Zlatko Kaučič (conductor)

Track Listing: Ana: 1. Ana 2. Riofun 3. Circle in the Round

Personnel: Ana: Thomas Johansson (trumpet); Mats Äleklint (trombone); Per Ake Holmlander, Borre Molstad (tuba); Julie Kjaer (alto saxophone and flute); Klaus Holm (alto and baritone saxophones); Ketil Gutvik (guitar); Jon Rune Strom, Christian Meaas Svendsen (bass, electric bass); Andreas Wildhagen, Paal Nilssen-Love (drums, percussion); Paulinho Bicolor (cuica, triangle, tamborim); Celio de Carvalho (congas, bongos, tamborim, pandeiro, berimbau, caxixi, alfaia); Tommi Keranen (electronics)

(Ken Waxman)

jazztimes.com: 10/03/16; Zlatko Kaučič Cerkno Jubileum Orchestra, Zvocni Sejalec

Irregular rhythms and eccentric chord movements are recurring patterns throughout the live recording Zvocni Sejalec from Zlatko Kaučič's Cerkno Jubileum Orchestra. Notes have a dissonant-skew, grating against each other along the scores as band members improvise their chord progressions. The tracks have an avant-garde leaning, traversing between the eerie and erratic in a few strides.

Clusters of ghostly eruptions have an eccentric-tilt along "Bombarduon," mirroring an automation going haywire. Melodic phrases are perfectly imperfect, scripted with an underlying nervousness in "Kekceva Pesem" as main themes are intertwined with subliminal messaging from Giorgio Pacorig's Fender Rhodes in the undertow. Horns slice sharp toots and off-kilter tweets along "Srecko Lesica" as the curt clicking of the percussive beats provide the base for the liberally splayed improvisations.

Kaučič's orchestra takes audiences on a wild adventure through chord patterns that aren't often explored, treading on the subterranean side of the imagination. Tension and dissonance are constants in the tracks as notes alternate between lobed arcs and retracted motion, flowing and ebbing sporadically. The randomness of the motifs displays the band's ingenuity and proclivity for unchartered terrain and unconventional chord shifts.

Few melodic phrases are repeated exactly as instruments sketch movements that are meant to be performed once, ignited by the impetus sparked in the moment. When revisited, the pattern changes as the former route is impossible to replicate. The live recording swings between conscious and subconscious thoughts, venturing into the alter-ego side of the scores, making for a sonic adventure that goes into the unknown and rarely explored.

Musicians: Zlatko Kaučič - conductor, Vitja Balzalorsky - guitar, Marko Lasic - drums and percussion, Jost Drasler - double bass, Massimo de Mattia - flutes, Mimo Coliandro - bass clarinet, Luigi Vitale - vibraphone, Gabriele Cancelli - trumpet, Bostjan Simon - alto saxophone, Cene Resnik - tenor saxophone, Giovanni Maier - tenor saxophone, Vid Drasler - drums and percussion, Giorgio Pacorig - Fender Rhodes

Tracklisting: Paslus Bostjan, To Paul, Kozmicno Dozivetje, Bombarduon, Na Svoji Zemlji, Kekceva Pesem, Srecko Lesica

(Susan Frances)

WWW.SIGIC.SI: 26.06.2016; Čista emocija in moč interpretacije – dvakrat!

Zlatko Kaučič je neumoren in drzen avtor, ki mu raziskovalna žilica nikoli ne da miru. Pred nami je Cerkno Jubileum Orchestra in trio z legendarnim Balanescujem in Girottom.

Ni pomembno, ali se strinjate ali ne, dejstvo je, da je Zlatko Kaučič hraber in drzen avtor, ki mu raziskovalna žilica nikjer in nikoli ne da miru. Prav v vsakem trenutku v času in prostoru sledi in prevprašuje zvoke, ki jih povprečno uho ne sliši ali (celo) noče slišati. V njih namreč utripajo neusahljivi zvočni viri, ki se v intimi osamosvajajo, dokler nenadoma nekontrolirano ne planejo navzven. Zatorej me ne more več presenetiti konkretna pošiljka v poštnem nabiralniku – njegove najnovejše ozvočene misli, ki jih ne skriva zase, temveč na različne načine skozi različne projekte deli naokoli. Morda na trenutke celo malce preveč sramežljivo, a vseeno viharniško in zavestno kljubujoče. Zlatko ni nikdar zadovoljen z že slišanim, z že doseženim, temveč potuje naprej, išče nove prostornine zvoka, se občasno ozre nazaj le toliko, da ponovi nekatera izhodišča in na že prečenem križišču izbere drugo, novo smer. To je vodilna (za)misel albuma Zvočni sejalec, ki ga je zaradi določenih zunanjih dejavnikov treba brati večplastno, a poslušati enotno.

Nobena skrivnost ni, komu je album posvečen – jazzovskemu udarniku in tistemu, ki je bil po entuziazmu Zlatku zelo blizu, impresariju Boštjanu Cveku. Zato je prav, da se je (z)godba odvila in posnela v Cerknem, in sicer na 20. izvedbi tamkajšnjega jazzovskega festivala, ki je majhen in velik hkrati, prav takšen, kot v naših mislih za vedno ostaja Boštjan. In k temu dosti pripomore tudi zaenkrat najsuverenejša (vsaj zabeležena na nosilcu zvoka) igra orkestra, ki ga usmerja Zlatko Kaučič. Nisem sicer podučen, na kakšen način in kako hitro je prišlo do sestave tega orkestra, a glede na imena v njem se zdi, da je Kaučič okoli sebe zbral izkušene glasbenike, ki od trenutka dalje, ko uvodni govorec zapove: »Zlatko, urež!« glasbi pustijo zadihati in potovati v vse smeri.

Brezmejnost pa ni tako samoumevna, kot bi bilo sklepati po teh besedah, temveč si jo je treba izboriti, kar jubilejnemu orkestru uspeva prav na vsakem koraku, saj improvizacijskih preskokov ne veže strogo na proste jazzovske koordinate, temveč godbe filtrira in tako osvobaja tudi skozi druge žanrske postulate. Resno in igrivo se kombo loti zadane naloge, ki pravzaprav simbolizira in slavi življenje vseh nas in nas skozi igro orkestra poduči o pomembnosti posameznika v sobivanju z okolico. Kompakten špil »prekinjajo« solistični izleti, ki pa niso sami sebi namen, temveč poudarjajo nastavljeni karakter skladbe. Uvodna Pasluš Boštjan je tako mala učna ura čvrste skupinske igre, da bi že v nadaljevalnem posvetilu – To Paul – v ospredje stopili vibrafon (Luigi Vitale), tenorski saksofon (Cene Resnik) in kontrabas (Jošt Drašler in/ali Giovanni Maier), medtem ko po razposajeni psihedelični uverturi Kozmično doživetje nagovori s primernim progresivnim rockovskim pospeškom, kjer se ob sugestivnih ritmih (Marko Lasič) docela razživi trobenta Gabriela Cancellija in v finišu še električna kitara Vitje Balžalorskega. Bombarduon je vmesni rez in izlet v neznano, mali test pred dvema priredbama iz repertoarja skladatelja Marjana Kozine: vsem znano osrednjo temo iz filma Na svoji zemlji, ki jo je jubilejni orkester precej bolj razčlenil in na novo sfraziral kot veselo Kekčevo pesem, ki ne glede na nekatere dekonstrukcijske prijeme v formi melodije ohranja svojo izvorno melodičnost. V nekaj več kot štirinajstminutnem epilogu z naslovom Srečko Lesica orkester znova razvija igro skupine s posameznikom in obratno. V tem se začuti voditeljska spretnost Zlatka Kaučiča, ki zna iz prisotnih izvleči najboljše, jih spretno pošiljati v ogenj in jih vračati nazaj v »skupnost,« ko je to potrebno. Gre za urejeni kaos, ki vse razrahljane niti drznih solističnih, podvojenih ali potrojenih raziskovanj združi pod skupnim imenovalcem v enotni tok jubileja in spomina. Skratka, zasejano seme v brezčasnem prostoru.

Ideja prostora z varne razdalje vodi tudi trio Alexandra Balanescuja (violina), Zlatka Kaučiča (bobni, tolkala) in Javierja Girotta (saksofon), saj nosijo skladbe na dvojnem albumu naslove po izbrani »živi« lokaciji, kjer so bile zabeležene na »trakove«. Njihova raznolikost (Dunaj, Škofja Loka, Ljubljana, Trst, Firence) nam pričara formalno razumevanje naslova projekta, četudi gre v osnovni za obratno razmišljanje: brisanje meja tako v realnem kot domišljijskem svetu ter sobivanje zvočnosti ne glede na to, od kod izvira. Kajti če se distanciramo od spominov in družbenega konteksta, potem nam ostane le čista emocija in moč interpretacije. V teh notranjih svetovih lahko odkrijemo in v svoj jezik prevedemo stičišča med vzhodnimi in zahodnimi sanjarjenji.

Trio Balanescu / Kaučič / Girotto jih je ponovno postavil na prepih, jih prepletel s harmonijami raznolikosti in pustil, da se razvijajo po lastni logiki. Moč trenutnega navdiha je njihovo osrednje vodilo, ki spaja svetove in se odpira proti poslušalcu z vso magičnostjo – recimo temu v pomanjkanju primernejšega termina – eksperimenta. Če bolje pomislimo, niti ne gre za eksperiment v klasičnem pomenu, temveč za (med)kulturni nagovor, prepoln oscilacij na vseh nivojih, izvajalskih in podoživljenih. Po uvodnem tipanju se trio namreč začuti, odkrije skupno frekvenco, in nas po številnih crescendih in decsresendih pelje na čarobno razigrano potovanje različnih kombinacij, izjemnih mediger in solističnih intervencij. Od zunaj narekovana nasprotja se že po nekaj uvodnih sekvencah »pomirijo« ter poenotijo v muziciranje, prepolno poudarkov, za katere je jasno, da niso bili dani enkrat za vselej. V tem sta tudi največja prednost in domet omenjenega projekta: vsi trije glasbeniki imajo toliko izkušenj, da znajo v starem poiskati novo poetiko, stare/nove zvočne elemente in jih povezati skozi sodobne premisleke in aplikacije trenutne orientacije v času in prostoru. East West Daydreams se zato posluša in sliši tudi kot didaktičen učbenik za branje nove tradicije.

(Gregor Bauman)