Clusone Trio - (1992)
Recorded in 1991 in Italy, Clusone Trio marked the debut offering from one of the most delightfully iconoclastic groups to come down the improv pike in decades. With spiritual leader Han Bennink percussively playing the god Dionysus to Moore's Pan and Reijseger's Abelard, the Clusone's burst onto the improv scene fully formed, replete not with a sense of humor but with humor as the backbone to "serious" improvisation. They could play anything and usually did. Check for a moment the cacophony that gives way to bluesed-out bebop in "The Pipistrello 1" suite, where everyone from Alban Berg to Neil Hefti is invoked, or the angular elegance in Herbie Nichols' "Sunday Stroll," or the over-driven tonal alchemy in Moore's own "New Shoes," or finally the Monk-laced banter between Moore and Reijseger in Misha Mengelberg's "Rollo II," with its staggered eight notes and chomping flatted ninths. Clusone Trio are a music band, and their debut proved that music could wear the faces of anarchy, chaos, and even anger in its attempt to find the absurdities in joy and illuminate them. This is jazz for those who've tired of changes and the same old "rhythm harmony melody" clichés and are looking for something a bit funnier, a bit more audacious, and a bit more dangerous.