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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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PULSAR TRIO

Erpelparka Suite

First Hand Records FHR17

 

 

 

  1. Nowawes Blues (Für Maria) [4:45]
  2. ...But Pelsig [6:23]
  3. Seven4Seven [6:12]
  4. Coal Miner’s Lament [4:38]
  5. Boogie Mule [3:35]
  6. Piloot II [3:02]
  7. Erpelparka Suite [4:06]
  8. Himalayan Swallow Song [3:28]
  9. Pushkeen [3:32]
  10. Giant Mass [1:50]
  11. Safrón [3:24]
  12. Song for a Dead Doe [4:36]

Matyas Wolter (sitar), Beate Wein (piano) & Aaron Christ (drums/percussion). All songs written by Pulsar Trio.

rec. 14-18 December, 2011 in the living room of the Wein family in Altdöbern, Germany. Engineer: Kai Mader. [49:41]

 

This is a first for me because though the late, great Ravi Shankar introduced the sitar into Western classical music I have never before heard it used in jazz as it is here where it replaces the usual string instrument used in trios, the guitar. Its use gives each tune that unique mysterious Eastern sound especially when it solos as in Himalayan Swallow Song. It took a little time for my ear to acclimatise itself to hearing a full disc with the sitar taking the lead role but once it did it became a really rewarding experience. Trio leader and sitarist Matyas Wolter trained in India and he uses his skills to gently shoehorn the sitar into the jazz idiom where it sits very comfortably alongside Beate Wein’s piano and Aaron Christ’s drums. The original tunes fully exploit this unusual combo’s components in innovative material producing a hypnotic mix of sounds, including the use of the sound of dripping water as a bridge between tracks 3 and 4. It is difficult to pick out highlights but I especially liked the opening track which allows each of the three to set out their store and establish their collectively unique sound and I also enjoyed Piloot II with its mesmerising repetitive drum beats and the disc’s title track Erpelparka Suite. As a debut disc it certainly hits the ground running and I have to admire a young group taking the initiative of recording their disc in what I presume was pianist Beate Wein’s parents’ house (and completing the DIY ‘feel’ the disc is released on First Hand Records home of a lot of interesting releases, including classical). With both reflective pieces and those that are full of pulsating rhythms the disc is endlessly fascinating and I warmly welcome it into the continuingly evolving discography of jazz.

Steve Arloff



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