Eklisia Sunday (NotTwo Records) was recorded live near Bodrum, Turkey, on May 15 2011, at a concert that marked the belated release of an earlier Konstrukt/Brötzmann collaboration, Dolunay (ARES), which they’d recorded back in 2008.
Konstrukt is an Istanbul-based improv group; not one I’ve previously known, although they also collaborated in 2011 both with Marshall Allen and—as documented on the album Live at Akbank Jazz Festival (Re:konstruKt)—with Evan Parker.
The usual Konstrukt lineup of Korhan Futaci (tenor & soprano saxophones), Umut Çağlar (electric guitar), Özün Usta (double bass, djembe, gong, bells) and Korhan Argüden (drums) becomes an septet with the addition of Brötzmann (tenor & alto saxophones, clarinet) and additional guests Hüseyin Ertunç (acoustic piano, küstüfon, gong) and Doğan Doğusel (double bass, küstüfon).
Çağlar and Usta sometimes also play electric organ and synth and electric bass, but for this concert, held in a 17th century chapel at Eklisia, the group prefer an often thoughtful, mostly acoustic dynamic. The chapel acoustics, and perhaps the album’s production, impart a dry, airy sound that complements the performance.
The küstüfon played by two of the guests is apparently a reed instrument of 80s invention. You can hear it best at the end of “Part I”. Brötzmann, having got the session underway with a brief, typically grizzled solo, is soon bolstered by the punchy rhythmic play of Usta’s djembra. A frantic collective blow-out then develops, but suddenly abates, foregrounding a calm, discursive exchange of papery küstüfon reeds and dry-bone guitar. Brötzmann’s clarinet reinforces the sere texture, while Futaci’s sax sweetens it.
“Part II” is more ruminative, with lots of space for the twin double-basses to twine lines. Brötzmann enters 4 minutes into “Part III”, puncturing a miasma of rustling percussives from kit drums, piano and guitar. Soon three saxes are trading licks and things are broiling nicely, but the music never descends into free-for-all; everyone holds some degree of intensity in reserve. The first 3’50” of “Part IV” is a sensitive conversation between piano and clarinet; then the time for controlled collective combustion finally arrives.
Brötzmann evidently enjoyed his Eklisia Sunday, as he reunited with Konstrukt in 2012 for an appearance at Krakow Autumn Jazz.
Long Story Short – Wels 2011 Curated by Peter Brötzmann (5 CD).
Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet – Concert for Fukushima, Wels 2011 (DVD).
Sonore – Cafe OTO/London.