Stef Gijsels - Free Jazz Blog
For those who love vinyl albums, I recommend you to be fast to get your copy of this one, as only 300 copies exist. It brings a great duo recording full of suprises by Lao Dan on alto and Chinese flute and Deng Boyu on drums and percussion. I can only congratulate the NoBusiness label to make this performance - recorded on October 2019 in Guangzhou, China - accessible to all of us. The first side consists of three very energetic tracks, bringing us free jazz in the best of traditions. The sax howls, and almost constant overblowing in the fiercest parts, with the drum kit hit hard on all its components together. The second side is a three-piece suite (no pun intended), inspired by nature: "The Wordless Ocean", "The Grass Against The Wind" and "Cloud Above My Head, Will You Float On To Chicago", and both musicians now fully integrate Chinese elements in their music: the flute to start with, the dramatic and suprising narrative elements of heavy percussion and shouts, is then transformed in high-pitched alto moving back to full free jazz mode, to merge both styles in the last track, which combines Eastern and Western elements, including another unspecified Chinese wind instrument (I assume a suona), ending this great album with a nice level of ethereal and light effects. Despite the relative short length of an LP, the duo manage to give listeners a wide and broad musical journey, through styles and continents and time zones, but all brought with a single vision. Luckily for fans, the music is also available digitally.