Diplomats, The - We Are Not Obstinate Islands
“Like new fire / Burning us down to the roots, past the roots”. These are the first two verses of the poem by Geral Schwartz that inspire this record. And Fire Music this is indeed, as the press call to free jazz and its heirs in the present scene. Rob Brown, Steve Swell and Harris Heisenstadt, the three Diplomats, are really “burned down to the roots”, and that means they are true followers of the New Thing. An alto sax, a trombone and a drumkit, here is a combo reduced to its bones. They don’t need more to acomplish their incendiary activity. Listening to “We Are Not Obstinate Islands”, you’ll find that more colors and timbres would turn things out of proportion and even explosive (in an Albert Ayler manner), and that’s not the agenda of this trio. They prefere slow primer cords that enable to see the flames sparkling and forming. Both Brown and Swell need time to phrase and develop their ideas, and there’s no hurries in this CD. This is intense music, but without flashes and booms. They don’t want to devastate, only to enlight. At the end, maybe only ruins will last, but that’s not the final purpose. What really matters is the process of fire consumption. That’s fluid engineering what we hear Heisenstadt doing with the sticks, clicking and poping all the way through. And you bet it’s hot..."