When I first heard Lisbeth Quartet I was both surprised and enchanted. The face of the band turned to be a young lady, Charlotte Greve. It was a year after this material had been recorded; live on the stage of Berlin’s A Trane club.
She is a proper heroine. She has the power, the talent and passion to spell the inner sense into her compositions. Those are by the way skills well matured; something one wouldn’t expect from someone so young as she is (just turned 26 now).
What touches you immediately is her incredible way of feeling melody. You listening to the tunes which sound to your ears so much like a human voice, more like songs which posses’ emotions stored in lyrics, not just in an articulation or timbre. Very few reed players have such a gift. Think about Charles Lloyd for example, that would be the right description. Or Heinz Sauer, if you would like to pick some from the same sonic Universe as she grown in.This recording is four years old, so think where she will be now expanding her own horizons so quick.
From the first phrase of the opening The Tree composition listener is getting that clearly. She starts with a lament which is perfectly balanced and dynamically controlled. Voice is clear and holds emotions firmly. Phrase grown and gets low, but never comes overdone. Is perfectly focused all the time. This is wonderfully written composition with enough space given for leaders’ sax to keep telling the story and room left for the band mates to support this narration. Particularly interactions between voice and percussion build narration of the piece here. The discrete and propulsive in the same time presence of the piano fills the harmonic tissue in the way that one would expect the drums rhythmic accents would make. That is truly developed at the master class level and is in fact more clever and mature than it first sounds.
In the following Red things are more equally shared in the combo. Piano gets more solo space and section operates in more traditional manner. Leader’s sax plays melody which seems to have more in common with traditional folk tunes than a escalation of rhythmic figures, but boy – these chaps can play. Keeps are floating here and keep changing on the go. Functions move. And melody which was already simple had been completely de-fragmented, used to deliver completely new steps to the old well known dance. With interludes which made a complete makeover to it. I love transition of this piece a lot and can really enjoy listening to it all day long.
Next the title suite comes in two pieces. Contemporary character of this set up mood differently again. We are taken back into the land of reflection first experienced with the first blow on the record. Listening to Charlotte’s gentle, smoothly told story with her breath and fingering work constantly present in the phrase is nothing but the honey for the ears. It is hard to believe how someone so young can posses enough wisdom to tell stories like that. I could keep go on and on like that for long. At least another four composition, but it is pointless. What one need to do is to buy this record and fall in love.
CONSTANT TRAVELLERS TRAUMTON PR
BUY IT here!