Live recordings of improvisations made in Cork, Dingle, Dublin, Galway, and Sligo, among a number of places in Ireland, during 2012 and 2013, the work of Seán Mac Erlaine who melts electronic textures into his expansive acoustic woodwind sounds to intuitive effect.
The resemblances to the approach of Nordic jazz, for instance the work of trumpeter Arve Henriksen, or beyond and the solo records of John Surman, might be felt by some listening to this as approximate points of comparison. Yet Mac Erlaine seems to be carving out his own highly inflected musical territory here out of choice raw materials. ‘All Sung a Slender Song,’ which partly lends the album its title, has a lonesome Garbarek quality to it, saxophone against gentle sound shadow washes, slices of after-notes, faint echoes here and there and distant hints as potent as the dominant lead line. Subtle and nuanced, the electronics, often a distant burbling stream on the periphery, provide life and motion somehow, and Mac Erlaine’s vision has an abstract experimental quality to it gently winkling out little phrases from obstinate shells and hidden places. Ten tracks in all, a quite beautiful album that deserves wide exposure adding to Mac Erlaine’s already burgeoning reputation begun with Long After the Music Is Gone. SG
Seán Mac Erlaine, above
Out now on vinyl, and to download