Akousma: Live Again
Here and There
Linus Wyrsch (clarinet),
Stavros Kartakis (guitar), Hiro Sakaba (bass), George Lernis (drums).
Composed by Stavros Kartakis.
Recorded: Boston, 2008
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
Boston's Berklee School has long been a melting pot for the world's budding jazz musicians and a frequent bellwether for coming trends. One of its most recent products is this eclectic international confederation of talented players from, respectively, Switzerland, Greece, Japan, and Cyprus. While their debut album breaks no theoretical ground, it does show a glimpse of greater things to come.
"Live Again" is a plaintive, wistful bossa eschewing the more familiar sax or flute in favor of the velvet, flowing timbre of Linus Wyrsch's clarinet. Satisfying, laid-back improvisations by bassist Hiro Sakaba and guitarist Stavros Kartakis fit comfortably over an open, minimalist Latin feel. But it's the clarinet that stands out. With a depth of feeling that belies his disciplined classical technique, Wyrsch demonstrates why it's past time for this expressive but long-overlooked instrument to return to the fore.
All things considered, Akousma (presumably named after a Pythagorean precept) aptly illustrates the transcendent language of jazz and the universality of its elements in a rapidly shrinking global community.
Reviewer: Bill Barnes