INTAKT RECORDS REVIEWS

BORDERLANDS TRIO
STEPHAN CRUMP – KRIS DAVIS – ERIC McPHERSON

WANDERSPHERE

Intakt CD 370 / 2021

 

 

Rigobert Dittmann, Bad Alchemy Newsletter, Sept 2021 (DE)

Rigobert Dittmann, Bad Alchemy Newsletter, Sept 2021 (DE)

Het Borderlands Trio uit New York, bestaand uit Stephan Crumb op contrabas, Kris Davis op piano en Eric McPherson op drums, brengt na hun geslaagde debuut Asteroida uit 2017 nu een dubbel cd uit met de titel “Wandersphere”. De twee cd’s bevatten vier improvisaties die in lengte variëren tussen de 20 en 40 minuten. Het album werd opgenomen in 2020 tijdens de corona pandemie in New York.

Jan van Leersum, rootstime.be, Sept 01 2021 (NL)

It begins so quietly, whispering out of silence like a ghost. The creaking door of Stephan Crump's arco bass, the hiss of Eric McPherson's brushes, the parsimonious delicacy of Kris Davis' piano notes. This is what opens Disc one of this two CD outing by the Borderlands Trio. The tune's following half hour's worth of improvisational expressionism—an exercise in filling the vacuum with free flowing musical ideas—gathers momentum, like an incoming storm, or maybe a colony of microscopic organisms reaching a population density that allows it to flourish, to thrive. To mutate to a level of success that will ensure its survival.

Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz, Sept 22 2021 (EN)

 

Wandersphere is the second album by Borderlands Trio, with Stephan Crump on acoustic bass, Kris Davis on piano, and Eric McPherson on drums. After their 2017 album, Asteroida, Wandersphere was recorded during the coronavirus pandemic in New York in 2020 and released on September 2021, via Intakt Records.

Paul, Best of Jazz, Sept 19 2021 (EN)

 

NACH DEM ATEMBERAUBENDEN DEBÜT-ALBUM «ASTEROIDA» LEGT DAS NEW YORKER TRIO BORDERLANDS MIT STEPHAN CRUMP, KRIS DAVIS UND ERIC MCPHERSON EINE DOPPEL-CD MIT VIER WUNDERSCHÖNEN IMPROVISATIONEN IN DER LÄNGE ZWISCHEN ZWANZIG UND VIERZIG MINUTEN.

Radiohoerer, Sept 24 2021(DE)

 

RD, Stereoplay Magazin, Okt 2021 (DE)

RD, Stereoplay Magazin, Okt 2021 (DE)

 

Hiroki Sugita, Japan Jazz Magazine, Oct 2021 (JP)

Hiroki Sugita, Japan Jazz Magazine, Oct 2021 (JP)

 

 

Kay Friedrichs, Klenkes Magazine, Okt/Nov 2021 (DE)

Kay Friedrichs, Klenkes Magazine, Okt/Nov 2021 (DE)

 

 

« Wandersphere ». A lui seul, le titre constitue une invitation à déambuler, à voyager. Peut-être faut-il apercevoir dans ce choix l’attrait de Stephan Crump pour l’écologie (il s’intéressait au mycorhize au moment d’enregistrer ce disque). Davantage encore, il s’affiche comme une allégorie de l’errance (to wander : errer, se promener sans but…) qui sied si bien à la démarche du Borderlands Trio. Sur « Asteroidea », son premier album paru en 2017, le trio s’essayait, se cherchait, cherchait les voies et moyens d’une improvisation qui tienne la route, décidant, pour les besoins de l’édition, de ramener de longues improvisations à des morceaux plus courts. Sur ce nouvel album – un double – pas de coupure, les pièces demeurent telles qu’elles ont été jouées. Au risque d’allonger le résultat final : une pièce d’une demi-heure, une de vingt minutes, une autre de quarante et la dernière de vingt-cinq minutes. Paradoxalement le temps ne semble pas long. Il est à la mesure de cette musique qui ne peut pleinement se déployer que sur la durée, à l’instar d’une pièce pour piano de Morton Feldman ou d’une composition de The Necks. La contrebasse de Crump est en dialogue constant avec le piano de Kris Davis et la batterie d’Eric McPherson. Il n’y a ici ni leader, ni succession de solos démonstratifs. Tout est affaire de balance collective, chacun joue pour et avec les autres, et inversement. Certes, Stephan Crump a supervisé les mixages finaux, mais ceux-ci n’altèrent en rien la dynamique de groupe qui est à l’œuvre. Au contraire, il s’est ingénié à faire ressortir les couleurs polyrythmiques du piano de Davis et la force orchestrale du jeu de cymbales de McPherson. Quant au son de sa contrebasse, il l’a voulu tantôt cuivré, tantôt ouaté, tantôt hégémonique. Fort, très fort.

Eric Therer, Jazz Mania, Oct 12 2021 (FR)

 

 

Rudolf Amstutz, Jazz'n'More Magazine, Sept 2021 (DE)

Rudolf Amstutz, Jazz'n'More Magazine, Sept 2021 (DE)

 

 

Christoph Wagner, Jazzthetik Magazine, Nov 2021 (DE)

Christoph Wagner, Jazzthetik Magazine, Nov 2021 (DE)

 

 

Rolf Thomas, Jazzthing Magazine, Sept/Okt 2021 (DE)

Rolf Thomas, Jazzthetik Magazine, Sept/Okt 2021 (DE)

 

 

Filipe Freitas, JazzTrail Blog, Oct 07 2021 (EN)

Filipe Freitas, JazzTrail Blog, Oct 07 2021 (EN)

 

 

Andrey Henkin's Recommended New Releases, The New York City Jazz Record, Nov 2021 (EN)

Andrey Henkin's Recommended New Releases, The New York City Jazz Record, Nov 2021 (EN)

 

 

Benno Bartsch, Jazz Podium Magazine, Oct 2021 (DE)

Benno Bartsch, Jazz Podium Magazine, Oct 2021 (DE)

 

 

Like a billionaire with money to burn, the Borderlands Trio frequently launch into space, and hit the jackpot in doing so. On this double disc set, the threesome—comprising bassist Stephan Crump, pianist Kris Davis and drummer Eric McPherson—luxuriate in the wide open vistas of four expansive improvisations of between nineteen and forty-two minutes. The decision to play and present entire pieces rather than excerpts, as they did on some of the shorter numbers on their debut Asteroidea (Intakt, 2017), pays rich dividends, as it allows an opportunity to appreciate the daredevil creation on-the-fly as they invent structures, spawn tension, and unearth resolutions in unforced natural developments.

John Sharpe, All About Jazz, 20 Nov 2021 (EN)

 

 

Pirmin Bossart, Kulturtipp Magazine, Dec 2021 (DE)

Pirmin Bossart, Kulturtipp Magazine, Dec 2021 (DE)

 

 

Das Borderlands Trio ist im Prinzip ein Klaviertrio, aber auf ihrer zweiten Veröffentlichung haben sich Pianistin Kris Davis, Bassist Stephan Crump und Schlagzeuger Eric McPherson alle Zeit der Welt genommen. Auf gleich zwei CDs finden sich vier Studioimprovisationen, die zwischen 20 und 40 Minuten lang sind. Die Stücke, wenn man sie denn so nennen will, haben einen unvergleichlich langen Atem und sind mit dem Begriff Free Jazz nur unzureichend charakterisiert. Das liegt daran, dass die drei alles zulassen, was ihnen in den Sinn kommt: Aus vorsichtiger Klangforschung entwickeln sich balladeske Momente, Groovepassagen wechseln sich ab mit furiosem High-Energy-Playing. „Wir versuchen nicht, irgendwelche Einflüsse zurückzuhalten“, kommentiert Crump diese Haltung. Für McPherson, der sonst bei Fred Hersch zu hören ist, war die gemeinsam improvisierte Musik „das ultimative Geburtstagsgeschenk“ – er wurde am Tag der Aufnahme 50 Jahre alt.

Rolf Thomas, Jazz Thing, Dec 06 2021 (DE)

 

 

 

Wandersphere is the follow-up to Asteroida, the 2017 Intakt debut from the New York-based Borderlands Trio. Recorded at Samurai Hotel during the pandemic in December 2020, bassist Stephan Crump, pianist Kris Davis, and drummer Eric McPherson decided to release the session as performed, unedited. On the group’s debut, shorter pieces were edited from longer improvisations, but this time the trio agreed to share the music uncut. Issued as a double CD comprised of four long improvisations that range in length from just under twenty minutes to over forty, this intimate music contrasts the then prevailing mood of pandemic isolation with untapped passion.

Troy Collins, Point Of Departure, 2021 (EN)

 

 

 

This year, the selection is divided into albums featuring solos, duets, trios, quartets, quintets, and larger ensembles, with three selections per category, for a total of 18 albums. We also added one category for “Artist of the Year”, and one for “Archive of the Year”, thereby adding two albums to the final selection, for a grand total of 20 albums that sum up how great 2021 was for jazz.

Best of jazz, Dec 02 2021 (EN)

 

 

Franck Bergerot, Jazz Magazine, Dec 2021 (FR)

Franck Bergerot, Jazz Magazine, Dec 2021 (FR)

 

 

Pat Youngspiel, Concerto Magazine, Dec 2021 (DE)

Pat Youngspiel, Concerto Magazine, Dec 2021 (DE)

 

 

Free improvising -- music-making with no pre-planned material -- was a legit jazz option by the late 1940s, when Lennie Tristano’s gang dipped into it. Then came 1960s' free jazz, though even then, most bands still played tunes, however briefly. Free play was going mainstream by the 1980s when the acclaimed Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette trio only played improvisations and (unrehearsed) standards. For many jazz combinations nowadays it’s one tack among many, like playing over a funk or Brazilian rhythm. Jazzy bands that only improvise are rare, a pity since free play that swings is a beautiful thing. Which brings us to one of my favorite ensembles working now, the limber Borderlands Trio of pianist Kris Davis, bassist (and organizer) Stephan Crump and drummer Eric McPherson.

Kevin Whitehead, The Audio Beat, Dec 09 2021 (EN)

 

 

The threesome luxuriates in the wide open vistas of four expansive improvisations of between 19 and 42 minutes on this double disc set. The decision to play and present entire pieces rather than excerpts, as they did on some of the shorter numbers on their debut Asteroidea (Intakt, 2017), pays rich dividends, as it allows opportunity to appreciate the daredevil creation on-the-fly as they invent structure, spawn tension, and uncover resolutions in unforced natural developments.

John Sharpe, All About Jazz, Dec 30 2021 (EN)

 

Bassist Stephan Crump ist zweifellos eine der wichtigen Figuren der
								zeitgenössischen Jazz- und Improszene und das Borderlands Trio mit der Pianistin
								Kris Davis und dem Drummer Eric McPherson vielleicht sein avanciertestes
								Projekt. Ein absolutes Weltklasse-Trio, das die Musiziervarianten der klassischen
								Klavier/Bass/Schlagzeug-Formation deutlich erweitert, wobei auf Elektronik
								vollkommen verzichtet wird. Die neue Intakt-Einspielung ist eine Doppel-CD mit
								lediglich vier Stücken von beträchtlichem Umfang. Sie verstehen die Kunst des
								Spannungsaufbaus, zwischendurch fast zu verschwinden und den Zuhörer
								dennoch bei der Stange zu halten. Klangmalerisches, wie anscheinend zufallig
								Hingeworfenes, entwickelt sich zu pulsierendem Swing. Alle drei verfügen über
								gründliche Kenntnisse der jüngeren Jazzgeschichte und entwickeln eine
								unverkennbare Musiziersprache. Das Trio erzählt auch von Respekt, Vertrautheit
								und Zuwendung. Alle Stücke sind spontane Improvisationen und haben schöne,
								treffende Namen: Super-Organism, An Invitation to Disappear, Old-Growth und
								Possible Futures. Superplatte, etwas vom Besten, das man im Vorjahr zu hören
								bekam.

FreiStil Magazine, 2022 (DE)

 

 

Jazz is a unique combination of modernist and popular
								music, but the history of it has been lopsided, with
								a far more extensive incorporation-and subsequent
								elevation -of popular music than of the developments
								of Western art music. The latter has been almost
								predominantly confined to pulling in ideas from the
								early 20th century Western art music modernism of
								Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Bartok and Debussy.

George Grella, The New York City Jazz Record, 2022 (EN)

 

 

In celebration of their sophomore album Wandersphere,
								the double-disc followup to their acclaimed Asteroidea
								(both on Intakt), Borderlands Trio took to The
								lazz Gallery stage for a two-night stand. The intrepid unit
								of pianist Kris Davis, bassist Stephan Crump and
								drummer Eric McPherson began its first set (Feb. 5th)
								tranquilly, Crump first bowing upper-register notes,
								McPherson gently brushing snare drum and rack tom
								in concentric circles and Davis carefully preparing the
								grand piano, utilizing gaffer's tape and silly putty
								alter the tonality of the upper and lower registers of
								ine instrument An ominous Ducked bass mot brought piano and cymbals into the fold and thus an
								hour-long, in-the-moment improvisation blurring the
								roles of soloist and accompanist took off.

Russ Musto, The New York City Jazz Record (EN)

 

 

There is irony in the title of the Borderlands Trio, for they embody the mainland of North America. Drummer Eric McPherson is a New Yorker, bassist Stephen Crump hails from Memphis and pianist Kris Davis is from Vancouver, growing up in Calgary.

Chris Searle, Morning Star, Feb 21 2022 (EN)

 

 

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