Add titleNew Review of Freetime CD
FREETIME with GEORGE HASLAM / STEVE HUBBACK / AIDA MUJACIC / JOZEF LASKA – Lamps, Clocks and Towers (Slam 334; UK) Freetime is George Haslam on taragato, Aida Mujacic on piano & voice, Jozef Laska on contrabass & bass guitar and Steve Hubback on percussion. This is a live recording from the Absinty Klub in Ostrava, in the Czech Republic. UK reeds player, George Haslam, keeps busy working with musicians from all over: South America, Italy, Portugal and Eastern Europe. For this quartet date, the only other musician here I know is percussionist & instrument-maker Steve Hubback, who has a dozen discs out on the FMR label. Since this recording takes place in the Czech Republic, I think that the other two musicians, Ms. Aida Mujacic & Jozef Laska, might be Czech. This is the second disc in a row in which Mr. Haslam plays exclusively taragato, a large clarinet-like instrument from Eastern Europe.
There are five songs on this disc and each one is titled with a folky/fairytale like theme. The opening piece, “Here We Go” has a sprawling, somber, spirit/free jazz flow or vibe. Ms. Mujacic is playing some sort of electric piano (Wurlitzer?) which has a most charming sound. The music has a quaint, older sound, somehow folk-themed yet free as well. Better known as a metal sculptor, drummer Steve Hubback plays mostly with mallets on his drum set and sounds superb, organic, ritualistic rhythms with a steam of simmering electric piano, acoustic bass and Haslam’s taragato snaking its way through dream-like flow. I realized by the time this disc ended that what I liked most about it was the overall dreamy vibe that flows throughout and the thoughtful low-key interaction between all four musicians. We are all dancing together gracefully and nobody ever steps on anyone else’s toes. – Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG 29 January 2021.