Kartet: Silky Way CD Review

Kartet plays a music that opens doors to the trance states where clarity and mists commingle. Silky Way is Kartet’s seventh CD since its 1991 formation, the tight core from day one being French musicians Guillaume Orti (alto and soprano saxophones), Benoit Delbecq (piano), and Hubert Dupont (bass). In this iteration Samuel Ber of Belgium takes the drum chair.

“Le Costume” by Delbecq is all subdued colors, tender sentimentality at the piano’s lower registers and a long pizzicato bass solo that rides over the melody. The compositon is characteristic of Kartet’s collective imagination, instruments playing highly differentiated lines that suddenly amalgamate into synchronicity, typically when Orti enters with his delicate, elegant, and precise sound.

Dupont’s “Couche Tard” (Sleep Late) plays like waking up without the artifice of an alarm clock. Interspersed with cymbal zings and gentle taps on the tubs, the long tone melody from alto saxophone and arco bass become surrogates for the fuzzy period of the mind’s conscious awakening. Palpable moments of silence act as markers for the gentle acceleration into a percussion parade that completes the wake-up cycle.

Orti’s “Garden of Five Roses” opens with tongue slaps and a tricky danceable rhythm. Then presto changeo, it shifts tempo into a variation on Steve Lacy’s “I Feel a Draft” from his Itinerary album. The CD title, Silky Way is a good one. The compositional structures always are strict allowing Kartet to play with agility and authority not so different than silk, the shimmeringly subtle material which balances tremendous structural integrity with elasticity and ethereal beauty.

Personnel: Benoît Delbecq, piano; Guillaume Orti, alto & soprano saxophones; Hubert Dupont, bass; Samuel Ber, drums.
Ordering info: https://peeweelabel.com/


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