Translated from German
The sensual artistic process by which the artists of Action Painting make the colors flow into each other to achieve contrasts and textures, seems to have served as an irresistible inspiration for the Jewish pianist Alon Nechushtan. When the pianist, who was born in 1974 near Tel Aviv, expanded his band to include the clarinetist Harold Rubin, the resulting interaction made for a liberated flow of (musical?) ideas. But that does not mean arbitrariness. Instead, we have a shared vision moving forward.
The playing of Alon Nechushtan along with Ken Filano on bass, Bob Meyer on drums/percussion and the south African Harold Rubin on clarinet make for a chemistry, expressed in the sounds, structures and ideas going back and forth that result in melodic expression. Noteworthy is the free, often melancholic lyrical expression of the clarinetist Harold Rubin. Rubin, born in South Africa in 1932, is the oldest of the group. Rubin drew on Eric Dolphy and Count Basie and was later inspired by Cecil Taylor and John Carter.
The bandleader Alon Nechustan is more than forty years younger and represents the contemporary musical avant-grade. The other collaborators range in between agewise. This variety gives Ritual Fire tremendous vitality, produces rousing emotion and finally warmth. Enchantingly, almost plaintively, the clarinet constantly emits a wealth of melancholy, and develops a lyrical motive /motif. It is a voice that lifts itself. Plucked bass tones respond, and the pianist integrates all of this in his own, often extroverted, life-giving (literally, giving birth) playing.
The flow of the resulting music gives the impression often of a complex Free-Jazz eruption but is nevertheless a lyrical freedom one can grasp, carried along by that emotion generated by the interaction of younger musicians with the older pioneers.
Stefan Pieper – Jazzthetik