Convergence II: Reviews and Quotes
Kevin Kastning / Carl Clements / Sandor Szabo: Convergence II (2021)
US artist Kevin Kastning is out with the album "Convergence II", and on this production jazz is the music that is in focus. Or rather, a combination of jazz and classical music, but explored in more of a jazz manner than a classical music one as far as I can tell. The compositions here combine two guitars with a saxophone and a very occasional flute, and the instruments create fairly gentle and atmospheric laden landscapes where the guitars typically provide a light and a dark motif with the saxophone or flute soloing on top, with plenty of space and room for the guitars to contribute with quirky technical and flamboyant details throughout. The guitars tend to be clean and acoustic, and more often than not with a classical guitar flavor being the order of the day, with the music at times coming across as chamber music as explored in a jazz context. An album for those who treasure the meeting of impulses from jazz and classical music explored in a careful and easygoing manner, with plenty of details for the deep listener to enjoy.
Viking in the Wilderness (NORWAY)
Kevin Kastning - 2021 - Convergence II
As one may guess from the title, this is the second album being released taken from recordings on 29th October 2015. Although Kevin (36-string Double Contraguitar, 30-string Contra-Alto guitar, 15-string Extended Classical guitar) had recorded, toured and improvised with both musicians independently, Carl (Tenor & Soprano saxophones, Alto flute) and Sandor (16-string Classical guitar) had not played with each other, and it was the first time the musicians were working as a trio. Three master musicians, and the only rule is there are no rules, as they work and bounce ides off each other to see where the music will lead them. At the beginning there is no idea where the journey will lead, how long it is going to be, or what marvels and mysteries they will encounter on the way, but they are all prepared for what happens as they explore. Each of the players are happy to take the lead, or to sit behind and wait for the correct moment to take over, when the time is right to sit out, or when it is right to make a dramatic entrance. Music like this cannot be taught, it is only possible with mastery of the instruments and years of experience as they learn to navigate the realm. That they never played as a trio until that day, and two of the musicians had not previously played with each other at all, is nothing short of remarkable. This is music which must be listened to on headphones and only when the listener really has the time to invest as it is necessary to get inside the minds of the players to get the best out of this.
- ProgressoR Magazine (UZBEKISTAN)
Kevin Kastning / Carl Clements / Sandor Szabó - Convergence II
Our readers have
already had a chance to get acquainted with the joint work of the American Kevin
Kastning and the Hungarian Sandor Szabo, two excellent guitarists and, at the
same time, masters who are constantly working to improve their favorite
instrument. Their playing is an exquisite dish for fans of unusual guitar sound:
guitars with 36th, 30th, 16th, 15th strings. In this project, the sound of
flutes is added to the sound of guitars: together with Kevin and Sandor, one
more person participated in the recording: Carl Clements.
If a lot has been said about guitarists in previous reviews, then Clements needs to be told a little more. Carl plays not only flutes, but also saxophone, and for more than forty years. This is an experienced musician working both in the field of jazz and creative improvisation, and in the field of world music. He had worked with Castning before. AllAboutJazz praised their 2017 collaborative album. But in the configuration presented today, they met for the first time, and even a little earlier. In October 2015, Szabo arrived in the US for several recording sessions with Castning. On October 29, all three musicians met in the studio (Sabo and Clements had not previously played together), and the day turned out to be so fruitful that the recorded material was enough for two whole albums. Alas, these recordings have been in the works for a long time, and the first of them, called Convergence I was released only in 2020, and now Convergence II has appeared. In total, it is planned to release three albums in the Convergence series.
Eight pieces, differing in their names only by serial numbers, made up the Convergence II program. The variety of guitars and flutes (including the Indian bansuri flute) gave each track a completely individual sound. With the advent of Clements, the sound became even more interesting, and the style of music became even more unclassifiable. You can easily find arguments in favor of the relationship of this music with free-form jazz, prog-rock, and ambient, and individual tracks of this album, for example, Second Convergence Three, in structure and partly in sound, caused me associations with academic music. In my opinion, such a blurring of stylistic boundaries only works to the benefit of the album and increases the potential circle of its listeners. Let's forget about labels and just listen to music. She's worth it.
Quad Magazine (RUSSIA)
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