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Tempe Jetz

by Magda Mayas & Jim Denley

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    Magda Mayas (Germany) performs on a 1970s manufactured clavinet with reedman Jim Denley (Australia), augmented by their use of field recordings, as they pay homage to a "marginalized corner" of Sydney, Australia on this experimental and irrefutably adventurous improv fest. Yet I wouldn't be so bold to suggest that this is easy listening but for the most part, it's relatively subdued.
    The duo projects organic minimalism amid the sounds of nature and bizarre tone poems that move forward in asymmetrical fashion. At times Mayas seems to be tinkering with the innards of her clavinet as Denley counterbalances and tints many of these fragmented motifs with otherworldly sounds, where the trajectories are either solemn, nervy, peaceful or droning. The field recordings are melded somewhere in between or in the background and not always easy to detect. Hence, the musicians execute a musical jigsaw puzzle of sorts but are apt to lull you into a groove.
    It's largely a polytonal endeavor as the duo's creative forces impart a strange but captivating vernacular or dichotomy. On the final track "Arrival," the artists' hissing and plucking sounds emit a sense of isolation, peppered by Mayas' dainty clavinet voicings and Denley's whirling bass flute lines along with various noise shaping activities that allude to a series of tribal thematic expositions. Nonetheless, it's a rather challenging program. Coupled with the detailed audio experience, Tempe Jetz tenders additional surprises on successive listens. - Glenn Astarita
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1.
A Departure 04:40
2.
3.
In Transit 09:01
4.
Arrival 15:04

about

Berlin based pianist Madga Mayas and Jim Denley, an Australia based saxophonist, together on Tempe Jetz, combine their energies to create a haunting ephemeral work.
The music works at nearly a subliminal level, and it seems that playing a barely functional clavinet is nearly dreamlike in its own right as Mayas turns this intentional instrument choice into an impressive array of sounds. Luxuriating in these textures, pulses, and reverberations, she presents to Denley a open palette for his own textural, pulsating, and breathy sounds. Mixed in are field recordings as well, adding a little extra color to the tones being reciprocated between Mayas and Denley. The sounds are small, quiet, and plentiful. Towards the end of the third track, 'In Transit', fittingly, tempo and volume increase, but soon dissipate. However, the effect is to draw you in closer, make you hear the key clicks, string scrapes, and eventually end up on a very different type of journey. Quite lovely in an unexpected way. Paul Acquaro

credits

released August 4, 2017

Alto Saxophone, Bass Flute, Field Recordings – Jim Denley
Clavinet – Magda Mayas

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Relative Pitch Records New York, New York

NYC-based independent record label specializing in avant-garde, free jazz, free improvisation, experimental.

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