Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Thomas Strønen, Time Is A Blind Guide - Lucus (ECM January 19, 2018)

Norwegian drummer/composer Thomas Strønen presents a revised edition of his acoustic collective Time Is A Blind Guide, now trimmed to quintet size, and with a new pianist in Wakayama-born Ayumi Tanaka. Tanaka has spoken of seeking associative connections between Japan and Norway in her improvising, a tendency Strønen seems to be encouraging with his space-conscious writing for the ensemble, letting in more light. As on the group’s eponymously-titled and critically-lauded debut album there are excellent contributions from the string players – the quintet effectively contains both a string trio and a piano trio – and Manfred Eicher’s production brings out all the fine detail in the grain of the collective sound and the halo of its overtones, captured in the famously-responsive acoustic of Lugano’s Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI in March 2017.

1. La Bella
2. Friday
3. Release
4. Lucus
5. Fugitive Places
6. Baka
7. Wednesday
8. Tension
9. Truth Grows Gradually
10. Islay
11. Weekend

Ayumi Tanaka, piano
Håkon Aase, violin
Lucy Railton, cello
Ole Morten Vågan, double bass