Caesura

by Roland Ramanan

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  • Compact Disc (CD)

    2006 CD release, in jewel box with 4-page booklet.
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1.

about

Roland's second quartet album has a special mood all of its own, and is perhaps an even more consistent statement of intent than Shaken. Highly recommended.

---------- press quotes ----------

"Although signed by Ramanan, this record is a balanced mixture of fine musicianships by four great artists; Marcio Mattos, Simon H. Fell and Mark Sanders help the "leader" in further developing the sonic journey initiated with his first album Shaken; this masterful trumpet player, also doubling on wooden flutes, declares on the liner notes that this time he felt "more confident", therefore being conscious that "the music is better". Comparisons aside, Caesura is indeed an extremely mature statement; some of the material is composed while the large part of it is improvised, freely or upon pre-determined instructions. Every movement sounds perfectly accomplished, with Ramanan playing with intelligence and huge soul, Sanders being his usual wonderful self - namely one of the most sensible percussionists that I've ever heard - and the fantastic pairing of Mattos' cello and Fell's double bass representing a concentrated affirmation of technical ability and spontaneous combustion, well evident in their engrossing duo on Post Part. One of those recordings which give back some hope for the future of contemporary music."Massimo Ricci TOUCHING EXTREMES

"A surefooted blend of jazz, improv and chamber music like its predecessor. Ramanan's Milesian and Cherry dialects appear on Bloom's Blues, as he moves from muted to open bell passages within a grayscale context of dour bowed strings and metallic percussion. Mattos and Fell show an uncommon amount of rapport, developing harmonic lattices accented by the detailed patter from Sanders' kit. Ramanan plays wooden flute on One Sty Bone, its dry twittering contrasting with the squelch of Mattos' electronics. In a Different Circle serves up a frothy stein of free jazz with Ramanan's brassy bursts volleying across chattering drums and snapping-turtle strings. A switch to flute signals what sounds like an avian treetop colloquy. The leader lays out on Marcel Duchamp, a Fell solo improvisation stocked with stirring harmonic overlays, and Post Part, a dense duet for Fell and Mattos. Overall, the interplay on Caesura keeps to the quieter side, but without any loss of tension or depth, and the music is good enough to make one hope that the next Ramanan release won't be as long coming."Derek Taylor PARIS TRANSATLANTIC

"Trumpeter Roland Ramanan was responsible for probably the five most sensationally exciting minutes I ever had during three years in the cockpit at CPT, when he very kindly agreed to gather together his quartet and play on the opening night of the theatre's second Total Writing Festival. They brought their masterful set to a close with a precarious hurtle through Break, from Ramanan's previous Emanem disc Shaken; it made the journey down Carsten Holler's tallest Tate helter-skelter feel like points failure just outside Lewisham. As I recall, my reaction, qua impetuous MC, was to attempt to solicit sexual congress with any audience member who was up for it: but of course no one volunteered because they'd quite literally all just come. Caesura is a less immediately approachable record than its predecessor, setting out large, sometimes thorny, arguments, and working hard in the opening tracks to test the faultlines of more ambitious structures. The cross-conversation between Mattos and Fell is particularly engrossing, given that neither of them is capable of an insipid gesture or prefabricated thought; and Fell's solo, Marcel Duchamp, is beyond jaw-dropping: you may lose control -- or even occupancy -- of your entire face. Ramanan is making music of real stature and relevance, and deserves the widest attention and the warmest encouragement." Chris Goode THOMPSON'S BANK OF COMMUNICABLE DESIRE

"Beaucoup plus sombre que son prédécesseur Shaken, Caesura, enregistré deux ans plus tard, réunie très exactement la même instrumentation et la même (fine) équipe de musiciens autour de la trompette de Roland Ramanan. On y retrouve, en effet, le violoncelle et la contrebasse de Marcio Mattos et Simon H. Fell ainsi que les percussions (plus nuancée que jamais) du formidable Mark Sanders. Pourtant, à partir du même module musical, les quatre complices nous offre un album radicalement différent de son prédécesseur, gommant, notamment, tout ce que le premier avait d'un peu trop boulonné (mais Shaken fonctionnait aussi comme une carte de visite) pour s'enfoncer, libres de toutes contraintes, un peu plus profondément dans les terres toujours vierges et toujours à découvrir, de la musique improvisée - même si cette dernière dégage, ici et là, un évident parfum de jazz. Avec Caesura, plutôt que de fournir un cadre au leader de la session, les quatre complices se révèlent totalement libres de leurs mouvements dans un disque très atmosphérique, proche, parfois, de la musique contemporaine et que domine presque de bout en bout, le son des cordes frottées à l'archet (comme la sensationnelle introduction de Bloom's Blues (hommage à James Joyce?), le titre d'ouverture du CD) par Marcio Mattos et Simon Fell qui démontrent ici, et de façon à nouveau éblouissante, la formidable musicalité qu'ils savent dispenser tout en prenant une part évidente dans la conception de cet album que vient doublement souligner Marcel Duchamp, titre interprété en solo par le bassiste, et Post Part, duo qui réunit les deux complices. Pour autant, Roland Ramanan n'en est pas réduit à jouer les utilités sur l'album qui porte son nom. Aussi lyrique que les cordes, il se révèle, créant par-là un magnifique équilibre (ou déséquilibre, c'est selon), le plus mélodique des quatre musiciens. Indiscutablement, le fils de Shake Keane (un formidable trompettiste antillais révélé, au tout début des années soixante, aux côtés d'un des pionniers méconnus du free jazz, son compatriote Joe Harriott) ne manque pas de personnalité et n'hésite pas à le faire entendre avec tous les risques que comporte l'improvisation lorsqu'on l'a pratique sans filet (ou si peu). Le son de sa trompette est un mixte qui rappelle, parfois le minimalisme de Miles et, à d'autres moments (moments qui peuvent se succéder dans le même morceau), se montre plus éclatante, proche, alors, de Léo Smith, de Bill Dixon, de Lester Bowie ou, encore, d'un Bobby Bradford, soit quelques-unes des grandes références afro-américaines de ces quarante dernières années. Caesura est un disque qui confirme pleinement que Roland Ramanan est bien le digne fils de son père et, surtout, que le meilleur est encore à venir pour le trompettiste. Recommandé." Philippe Elhem CRESCENDO

credits

released March 1, 2006

Roland Ramanan: trumpet, wooden flutes
Marcio Mattos: 'cello, electronics
Simon H. Fell: double bass
Mark Sanders: percussion

2003 (62 mins.) in jewel box
© Emanem 2006

full track listing:
01. Bloom's Blues [10m45s]
02. I No Em [7m35s]
03. Marcel Duchamp [7m37s]
04. One Sty Bone [7m22s]
05. I A Different Circle Of [6m33s]
06. Post Part [5m14s]
07. Gardener In The Graveyard [10m09s]
08. Waiting For En And En [6m34s]

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Bruce's Fingers Saint Dizier Leyrenne, France

Bruce's Fingers is a record label founded in 1983 by bassist, composer & improviser Simon H. Fell.
The label's publications (which also include books and scores) are centred around free / contemporary jazz, improvised music & contemporary / experimental composition.
Initially focussed on Fell's own work, the BF project has since expanded to include many other things besides...
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