Monday, April 13, 2015

Yochk'o Seffer - 1986 - Adama Ima

Yochk'o Seffer
Adama Ima

01. Adama (6:11)
02. La danse des ferrailleurs (3:02)
03. Lumière primitive (3:00)
04. Palocz-enekek (8:19)
05. Polyglotte (9:50)
06. Les bons hommes (3:30)
07. Trablair (8:52)
08. Ima (22:25)

On Adama Yochk'o Seffer played all the instruments himself. On most of the tunes he plays all seven saxophones as designed by Adolphe Sax: sopranino to contrabass saxophones. This was recorded approximately in the mid-1980s and the record actually led to the creation of a saxophone septet to play these pieces in the live setting.

Adama is a worthwhile record, because it offers a chance to hear an otherwise soprano- and tenor-centric saxophonist Seffer to whip it out on the lower-toned saxophones. The title track showcases Seffer's mastery and finely honed improvisation on the bass saxophone. It's not a pure saxophone track as tranquil piano appears in the mix half-way in (followed by additional chords via seven soprano sax overdubs). "La danse des ferrailleurs" is, as the title indicates, a dance number written for lower saxes. By contrast, "Lumiere Primitive" has lower saxes relegated to servile status compared to sopranino sax and these eventually drop out leaving the high-pitched soloing sax. On "Polyglotte" the combined textures of all seven saxes sound oddly beautiful and so rich in their orchestral qualities, comparable to the sonic lushness of a string quartet. Dense composed harmonies alternate with unaccompanied baritone, soprano and tenor (in that order) solos.

There is one exception to the pure saxophone (with occasional piano) music of other tracks: "Trablair n°1" where Yochk'o goes for a dissonant avant-garde experiment where he plays six of his sonic sculptures (basically, self-invented and constructed reed instruments), while adding solo sopranino sax and his own voice to the mix. Musically the sound is akin to avant-garde sonic collage, even though it's hard to tell if Yochk'o merely multitracked his self-invented instruments or also went for some auxiliary tape editing. An earlier free-jazz band version was recorded on  Perception's Mestari in 1973. A later reissue of this album is called "Adama Ima", with a 22 minute "Ima" added, which is yet again an avant-garde experiment consisting of sonic sculpture drones, sax and vocal harmonies, but more meditative. It was recorded at an entirely different time period, it actually combines the title tracks of Ima from 1977 and Ghilgoul from 1978.

Musically the album's overall style is generally some kind of a fusion of modern classical and avant-garde jazz combining elaborate multi-tracked harmonies and rhythms with free flowing solo improvisations. If Bartók would have composed Third Stream music for a saxophone ensemble, would this have been the result? While not as accessible as his more jazz rock oriented work with Zao and Neffesh Music, this record nonetheless confirms that Yochk'o Seffer is an instrumentalist and a composer with unique singular vision and a drive to do something different every time.



  2. Hi, can you reupload? loving these all!

  3. Loving the others can this be reuploaded?

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  5. Yes, please reup. Fantastic stuff!