Friday, 1 March 2019

Binder-Sanesi - Oriens & Occidens -1995- (BMM, CD), Hungary/Italy


Károly Binder is one of Hungary's most prominent jazz pianists. He is known for his rhythmic and unorthodox style of playing as well as for his experiments with the prepared piano. Binder takes the piano as a starting point but also uses many percussion instruments on the side. His first albums In Illo Tempore and Kontinentspiel that came out in the 80's in Hungary are great examples of Eastern European free jazz with lenghty pieces exploring rhythms while taking the listener into a world of its own. That is what usually matters: it's not just the plain exploration of sound. The sound is able to birth the existence of an own world. A bit comparable to the Pierre Courbois album I posted a long time ago.

Oriens & Occidens was recorded in the southern Hungarian cities of Baja and Szekszárd in 1995. On the album Binder works together with the Italian percussionist Federico Sanesi from Milan who was greatly inspired by oriental rhythms and percussion instruments like the Indian tabla and Javanese Gamelan. The result is an interesting musical meeting of cultures and free exploration of jazz, rhythm and non-western percussion instruments.

The music is played quite gently most of the time and tends to create an oriental background atmosphere that doesn't demand an overly focused attention from the listener. At times the music breaks loose from this atmosphere reminding me of certain moments of Embryo's Reise or of the British-Indian jazz album Cosmic Eye. Oriens & Occidens seems to fit this great European jazz tradition where Indian and oriental sounds are being combined with free jazz. Some examples of this tradition are the German project Jazz meets India, the British project Curried Jazz as well as the music of the Reform Art Unit from Austria.

In any case, this is a nice album of mid-90's Hungarian-Italian contemporary jazz meeting the orient.

Get it HERE

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