What happens when a trio featuring Markus Stauss, Jean Chaine and David Moss joins forces with another jazz trio to do improvisations together onstage. Well, you get something like the album New Duos 'N' Trios. One might expect a pretty standard improvised jazz fest here, but the two trios come up with much more than that and in the end we are again rewarded by yet another fine product involving Markus Stauss.
Musically, I guess I would put this album into the ‘strange’ category, however I have come to associate this word with positive sensations. This is strange in an Art Bears sort of way, with all the vocal havoc going on and all the crazy sounds. There also seems to be a lot of Frank Zappa in here (the vocal parts as well and some of the music), while some of the more violent »sung« passages even come close to Koenjihyakkei or Ruins. All of this is done on a firm jazz foundation. So, most of all, this album is crazy, but you can still find moments of beauty on it, particularly with the inclusion of the lovely traditional tune "Mayenzeit".
The group seems to be at its best when all the six members combine their efforts, though there are several moments when you hear one trio playing, while the other almost rests. You can hear many vocal and instrumental variations here and many combinations of both trios, but as I said, this works best with all the musicians playing a role, even though the result may sound a bit chaotic on first listen.
All in all, this album is, for the most part, improvised, however, this isn't standard jazz improvisation here, but it contains many styles and many interesting sounds. This is played by some fine players who create some nice stage magic together and you can really feel the chemistry between them at times. It's not a project for fans of strictly composed music, but people who like fun, wacky and crazy things will definitely get a kick out of this.
This product really isn't among Stauss's best moments ever, but it more than makes up for any lack of composed parts by the sheer fun of it. You can feel the guys are having a blast on stage and that's also one segment of music that has been sadly neglected as of late. Just when you think you've opened every door of the Stauss musical mansion, this kind of work shows you that there are hidden chambers in there as well. Sure, there may be some screams of terror (at least judging by some vocal parts), but the pleasure very much outweighs it.
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