17 Charlotte KeeffeALIVE! In the Studio
Charlotte Keeffe Right Here, Right Now Quartet
DISCUS MUSIC 160 CD (discus-music.org)

Prominent as part of the new wave of young brass players conversant with free and standard improvisation, the UK’s Charlotte Keeffe convenes her working quartet to confirm this stance. Affiliated with guitarist Moss Freed’s string clips and frails, Ashley John Long’s double bass plunks and stops and Ben Handysides’ cymbal clatter and drum slaps, Keeffe’s trumpet/flugelhorn stylings range from open horn flourishes to half-valve smears and timbral plunger examinations.

Nowhere is this clearer than in Wholeness and 1200 Photographs III. A companion to the previous tune’s run-throughs, the latter expands the tongue-stopping techniques and note hiccups of the other versions to expand their indirect bossa nova suggestions to upfront swing where strangled brass bugling is perfectly matched with centred guitar strums.

Freed’s frails are transformed into irregular chording and string shakes on Wholeness as arco bass buzzes and clanging rim shots further expand the extraterrestrial tone references brought to fruition by Keeffe’s plunger scoops, unexpected whiny variations and low-pitched portamento runs.

Never sacrificing tunefulness for technique, the quartet members maintain a tenacious, but subdued groove throughout the nine tracks, while integrating interludes of bowed bass expositions and rapid surf-music-like guitar licks. It also allows Keeffe to dig into her horn’s innards for heraldic blasts and bitten-off bleats.

On the final Brentford the players conclude the instrumental playing by harmonizing vocally on a bouncy melody. This too confirms the teamwork that went into creating this session.

Pin It

Back to top