On No On

Avant 16
MODE AVANT 16
2013

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On No On
Improvisation 1 (2013), 5m09s [excerpt]
Track 1 from On No On
CD: Mode Records (2013) MODE AVANT 16
John Heward, drum set, percussion; Lori Freedman, clarinets
8 December 2013
By Ken Waxman in The WholeNote #19:4 (Canada), December 8, 2013

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“The chief pleasure of these tracks is noting the substance of Freedman’s reed flurries and the strategies Heward pulls from his kit to parry her thrusts.”

As mass media continues to promote music as another instantly consumed product, the likelihood of new sounds — or even older ones — being ignored because they don’t fit the style of the moment intensifies. This is especially true when it comes to improvised music. But with the holiday season looming, more committed listeners may be seeking gifts for those who appreciate challenge rather than comfort in their music. Here are some CDs from 2013 that fit the bill. They include ones by established players, younger stylists plus important reissues. (…)

Another reed experimenter is Montreal-based clarinetist Lori Freedman, whose seven improvisations on On No On are with percussionist John Heward. Related to the cerebral texture and timbre experiments of Butcher/Buck or Parker/Lytton, there’s no chordal instrument present to smooth the interface. The chief pleasure of these tracks is noting the substance of Freedman’s reed flurries and the strategies Heward pulls from his kit to parry her thrusts. Using his palms as often as sticks, Heward’s whacks or rolls are singular replies to the reed solos which frequently extend like run-on sentences, adding violent or narrowed projections to make a point. Marimba-like reverberations are called into play on those rare occasions when Freedman’s output turns legato. Overall while technical prowess is the point, by the final Improvisation 7, the narrative turns from squeaks and shudders to an almost jaunty melodiousness. (…)

blogue@press-5044 press@5044
13 November 2013
By Guillaume Belhomme in Le son du grisli (France), November 13, 2013

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“Nées d’affinités évidentes et même concluantes, On No On est ainsi donc bien plus qu’un rapport de bon voisinage.”

«Music of a different Mode», voilà de quoi relève la série Avant du label Mode. A son catalogue, déjà, deux conversations du percussionniste John Heward: Recessional (for Oliver Johnson) avec Steve Lacy (2003) et Voices: 10 Improvisations avec Joe McPhee (2006). Cette fois (septembre 2009), son partenaire n’aura pas eu à faire des kilomètres pour improviser avec lui. Habitant elle aussi Montréal, voici la clarinettiste Lori Freedman approchant Heward en voisine et même en «habituée».

C’est que les nombreux concerts donnés par Heward et Freedman (en compagnie de Barre Phillips, Joe McPhee, Sam Shalabi ou encore au sein du Ratchet Orchestra de Nicolas Caloia) ont encore rapproché les deux improvisateurs. Dressant un épatant état des lieux de leur relation, sept pièces montrent les deux musiciens en duo souvent remonté, et cherchant toujours.

De nouvelles sonorités à faire naître sur cymbales, caisses ou toms, par exemple: rumeurs nées de rapides coups de baguette, étouffements des retentissements, minutie d’une pratique qu’Heward semble parfois vouloir même «sommaire». D’airs attrapés à la volée par les clarinettes, aussi: versatile parce qu’inspirée, Freedman multiplie les propositions sensibles et perspicaces. Nées d’affinités évidentes et même concluantes, On No On est ainsi donc bien plus qu’un rapport de bon voisinage.

blogue@press-5028 press@5028
8 November 2013
By Bruce Lee Gallanter in Downtown Music Gallery (USA), November 8, 2013

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“This entire disc unfolds like a series of stories that are told between friends.”

I caught Canadian clarinetist, Lori Freedman, on numerous occasions over the past decade: playing solo (at Guelph Fest), in duos (Queen Mab at Victo & with Joe McPhee at the Vision Fest), in the Queen Mab Trio (with Ig Hanneman) as well as with several members of the Ambiances Magnétiques collective. In September of this year (2013), Ms. Freedman was featured with Ensemble SuperMusique at Guelph and again shined in her solos and ensemble work. Drummer John Heward is based in Montreal and better known as a visual artist. Mr. Heward does have some fine duo and trio discs out with Steve Lacy, Joe Giardullo, Glenn Freeman, Joe McPhee, Tristan Honsinger, Jean Derome and others. There is something special about duo efforts that I dig: they often sound like an intimate conversation between two old friends who speak the same language and have had similar experiences. This disc does sound like that. There is a marvelous back and forth blend of energy and communication. The duo take their time and play quietly in the beginning, getting to know each other’s voice. This is not about fireworks but about a thoughtful balance of the elements. Lori’s clarinet playing is actually voice-like, she often sounds like a bird or some other creature who is describing their life and history. Mr. Heward seems to be playing a thumb piano on one of the improvisations and adding a certain quirkiness while Ms. Freedman switches to some serious bass clarinet sounds. This entire disc unfolds like a series of stories that are told between friends. There is nothing better than to curl up and read a good book and consider what is in store. Mode Records releases discs on their Avant series on rare occasion. This one is a definite gem.

blogue@press-5027 press@5027