THE FICTIVE FIVE
Anything Is Possible
Larry Ochs quintet with trumpeter Nate Wooley, bassists Ken Filiano and Pascal Niggenkemper and drummer Harris Eisenstadt started with an intriguing ambition: to create soundscapes (landscapes with sound, or what the acousmatic French composers call cinema pour loreille cinema for the ear in English) with the language of jazz and the procedures of improvisation. To fulfill this concept, Ochs sought inspiration from visual artists and film directors like William Kentridge and Wim Wenders. Or, the reverse: upon realization of the soundscspe, he dedicated the work to a film-maker; essentially invititing the invitee (and all listeners) to create imagery for the now-existing soundscape. At their second opus, Anything is Possible, the connection with specific personalities and their works is more loose, but it continues. One piece is dedicated to Spike Lee and another to Warren Sonbert, but in the middle theres a tribute to Cecil Taylor, in a gesture saying much about the recognition of the inner imagetic qualities of music itself, personified by a master in that domain. The presence of two double basses keeps the center of gravity of the music lower than in a common jazz combo, with crispy drumming on the bottom and, on the top, two horns contrasting harsh (Ochs tenor saxophone) and crystalline (Wooley) sounds, either when playing unisons or getting argumentative. If you know Larry Ochs from his work with the Rova saxophone quartet youll recognize the same type of structures and narrative strategies, but it will be different. Here, the ignition of your imaginative skills is intended.