Miró //

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  • 1. Part I (20:16)
  • 2. Part II (08:11)
  • 3. Part III (07:16)
  • 4. Part IV (16:51)
  • 5. Part V (05:51)
  • 6. Part VI (06:42)

An incredible hour-long 6 part drum set from one of Europe's most active drummers, performing live at Foundacio Joan Miro in Barceloa during the Nits de Music series.

Not just an indication of the location of this recording (at the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona), the intimidating black font on the cover art begs a discussion on the parallel between the later period hallmarks of the Surrealist painter and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love's work: Nilssen-Love's intentionally drifting anchor of muscular West meets supernal East, resembles Miró's aggressive, non-symmetry of thick-brush strokes that surround and expose seemingly simplistic speckled splatters of bright colors; both men have a gift for highlighting delicacy amidst violence, pulling up threads and laying a chisel to canvas or skins to juxtapose whatever they've spent an inordinate amount of time already juxtaposing.

Solo here, Nilssen-Love's Miró set is best described as focused and intense, like a cyclone that, though wavering between hurricane and a meager drizzle, continually reminds that it could engulf your town at any moment. However, he is relentless in his forward migration but clever enough to pick up smaller ideas and incorporate them into whatever theme he is currently vamping. The twenty-minute first chapter ("Part I") buzzes with technically spot-on perfection; adhered to a sometimes-invisible pulse, Nilssen-Love gives his modest kit a thorough exploration with tom / hat / snare rolls, foot taps and bass drum thumps in the manner of the Jazz Standard "hey, give the drummer a few minutes to show off" (from a listener standpoint, the work gives your neck, feet and tapping fingers an embarrassing work-out when accidentally performed around anyone not privy to your headphones). Eventually he nestles into an extended arrhythmic powwow, fades to silence and emerges from behind the curtain ringing, spinning and swishing a variety of cymbals.

For the duration of the 66-minute disc, Nilssen-Love's internal monologue continues in a manner between tempo-locked (though that tempo changes, frequently) and free droning rubs ("Part II"), then aberrant blasts of water gong, metallic squeaks and Tibetan funeral processions ("Part III"), then chains shaken and dragged across heads, a segue into the most hyperactive horse race / dog fight of the show ("Part IV"). At this point in history, you've heard of all these descriptions; but for all his extensions, Nilssen-Love's unique slant comes from his thorough root in the Krupa / Rich energy and showmanship via the basics of a drum kit (particularly heard in his dramatic snare work near the climax.)

Does Miró speak through Paal Nilsssen-Love? Miró: "I feel the need of attaining the maximum of intensity with the minimum of means...the works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness". Certainly sums up this amazing show.

review by Dave Madden

Recorded by Jordi Mas, Redservice S.L. Mixed and mastered by Thomas Hukkelberg at Desibel.No