Nik Bärtsch's Ronin: Modul 39_8
Nik Bärtsch's Ronin
Holon (ECM CD: B0010526-02)
Nik Bärtsch (piano),
Sha (bass and contrabass clarinets, alto sax), Björn Meyer (bass), Kaspar Rast (drums), Andi Pupato (percussion).
Composed by Nik Bärtsch.
Recorded: Pernes-les-Fontaines, France. July 23-25, 2007
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
You wouldn't think that a discussion of minimalism and funk would be a very long one. On "Modul 39_8," Nik Bärtsch's Ronin takes what might seem like two orthogonal musical substances and fits them together in a very natural way. Beginning with a cycling and moody piano figure, there's absolutely no hint of the changes to come. As the pace picks up (glacially), subtle bits of percussion are the only indication that the band will kick off at the 2-minute mark. Björn Meyer's bass drives lifts the mood for just a few moments before it is again just piano and percussion and mood. With just a few minutes left in the composition, we again shift up with piano notes showering all over a repeated horn figure and Meyer's bass popping away. I can imagine a discussion about this music lasting for days.
Reviewer: Mark Saleski