Friday 2 February 2024

Posted by Gerry Hectic | File under : , , ,

We all know that water is the source of life but is the divr album, 'Is This Water' equivalent in jazz terms?

And to push it that bit further, the Swiss trio of Phillipp Eden (piano/keys), Jonas Ruther (drums) and Raphael Walser (bass) are looking at water as an improvised liquid, gas and solid state over these 9 tracks.

We Jazz has called it an approach of "mutli-direction" that's been mixed by Dan Nicholls (of jazz collective, Y-OTIS) and it certainly touches various angular elements of free/ambient/spiritual as well as modern jazz.

Not surprising that there's touches of Japanese minimalism (they do love a water feature in a garden after all) and you get that with the Reich-eque '42' and 'Upeksha' [Sanskrit for equanimity, non-attachment, even-mindedness or letting go] and the temple percussion on 'Supreme Sweetness' but unusually to a jazz trio free vibe. 

I particularly like '42', not just because '42' is "the answer to life, the universe and everything" -but I can here some Arthur Russell influences from his avant-garde NY loft period whilst 'Tea High' is the most immediate of the tracks with it's post-classical minimalism.

And just to make this album even more interesting, there's a cover version of Radioheads' 'All I Need' (if it's not on BBE's 'Exit Music... Songs With Radio Heads', I wouldn't know it: but nothing like the how jazz trio The Bad Plus would have approached it in 2006 when that album came out - or perhaps it is?) and super ever trendy Broadcast, 'Echo's Answer'.

In trio terms, very different to recent Anni Kiviniemi Trio album 'Eir' (see review HERE) but as the well known Lao Tzu saying tells us, "Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it"  and you'll feel no resistance to the divr sound.

Artist: divr
Album: Is This Water
Release date: 2nd February, 2024
Label : We Jazz Records
Catalog Number : WJLP60 LP / CD / Digital / Bandcamp 


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