For me, improvised music is some of the most entertaining music that I’ve ever heard. Despite the genre, when an artist has the ability to play, perform and record impressive music on a whim, it tends to catch (and hold) my attention more than written and rehearsed music. I first fell in love with improvisations back in the early 90’s with the works of the multi-talented musician, John Zorn. A saxophonist by trade, John Zorn crossed the boundaries of many genres such as metal, punk, hardcore, grindcore, fusion jazz and avant-garde. Of his hundreds of albums, many of them were improvisational collaborations with the likes of talented artists such as Bill Frisell, Bill Laswell, Yamataka Eye & Mike Patton. I credit this scene for opening my eyes (and ears) to a wide variety of genres of music and appreciate for the artistic value of their craft. Fast forward to now, there are new artists on the scene that continue to carry that improvisation torch and do it well. Enter Dimitris Korontzis (guitar) and Tasos Fotiou (saxophone), a pair of musicians from Greece that are masters of their instruments and impressively construct improvisations with ease. Their monumental album, ‘Time Lapse’, is a thirty one minute improv session that tests each musicians skill and determination to create a compelling story of transitioning through time and space.
Consisting of six tracks, all which are named “Time Lapse Pt. 1 – Pt. 6”, this is hardly a single track just broken down into smaller sections. These tracks are individualistic in idea and expression but wondrously flow together in a seamless manner. The album opens with a beautiful ambient guitar tone that provides a calming drone. As discordant picking starts to take place, long-winded saxophone notes arrive and displace the arrangement, showing the first sign of many excellent improvised moments on this recording. Pt. 2 begins with a classic jazz moment and then a groovy guitar riff joins in. At this moment, I hear influences of the great Miles Davis, during his fusion jazz movement of the early 70’s. Pt. 3 has some bizarre arrangements that features excellent guitar work and greatly distorted saxophone notes that are especially creepy. By the time we make it to Pt. 4, a heavy ambient influence can be heard and the sound of deranged instruments playing in multiple tracks sound especially eerie. This continues into Pt. 5 as it seem there is no end in sight for the conglomerate of sound effects that have taken over the recording. However, the basic guitar and saxophone tracks are predominant and finally make their way back to the forefront toward the end of the track. When Pt. 6 starts playing, the craziness fades away and a nice saxophone solo part dominates the majority of the track. By the time the guitar joins in, its more of an ambient arrangement, providing a refreshing sound for closing out this thoroughly impressive album.
‘Time Lapse’ is a very enjoyable album that reminds me a lot of my favorite artists from many years ago that influenced me to listen to a wide variety of music. It’s improvisations like this that show the heart and skill of a musician and it happens to be right up my alley. Tasos Fotiou and Dimitris Korontzis pull out all the stops on this one and their skills and patience are put to the test as they deliver an album that is definitely worth checking out. When it comes to music and if you’re as open minded as I am, I highly recommend downloading ‘Time Lapse’ from the link below.
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