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Clusone 3: Rara Avis

The idea here is to play songs with references to birds in them: “The Buzzard Song,” “El Condor Pasa,” “Skylark,” even Saint-Saens “Le Cynge.” Not only that, but group members go out of their way to make bird sounds, even quacking. Trio members, percussionist Hans Bennink, cellist Ernst Reijseger and alto sax, clarinet and melodica player Michael Moore are versatile, proficient instrumentalists, but they’re into being clever, not profound. Although I’d rather hear him in other contexts, Reijseger impresses here whether bowing, plucking or strumming. Bennink gets a nice variety of timbres out of his set; he’s known for beating on found objects lying around the studio or stage. Moore has the ability to perform competently in both open (“Avocet”) or traditional settings, where his alto work is Paul Desmond-like.

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