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Biggi Vinkeloe, George Cremaschi, Miya Masaoka, Gino Robair: Klang. Farbe. Melodie.

About as far from Bob Dylan as one can get is Klang. Farbe. Melodie. (482), an album of nonidiomatic free improvisation performed by a collective consisting of alto saxophonist/flutist Biggi Vinkeloe, bassist George Cremaschi, 21-string Koto player Miya Masaoka and percussionist Gino Robair. Spontaneity and avoidance of cliche carry the day. The 13 miniatures (the longest track is a shade over 5 1/2 minutes) are for the most part sparsely constructed and quietly rendered. Vinkeloe is a compelling player, very sensitive and attentive. That said, my favorite track is one from which she’s absent: “Minous” is a lovely trialogue between Misaoka, Cremaschi and Robair. Misaoka and Cremaschi click beautifully, sharing some of the same tonal and melodic ground, while the discerning Robair embellishes their conversation. Similarly memorable is “A Marginal Icon,” whereupon Vinkeloe adds her voice sparingly but effectively to the discontinuous flow, while Robair does a kind of slow-motion impression of Sunny Murray. Robair’s various ancillary percussionisms are interesting, but I like the sound he gets out of a drum kit. There’s no other drummer like him. There aren’t any hummable ditties here, yet it’s a CD I suspect I’ll keep coming back to.

Originally Published