Review of Universal Code by Tim Caspar Boehme,
HHV Magazin, Germany, 28.06.23
The term “Universal Code” encompasses a remarkable collection of different types of character sets. First, there is Unicode in typography, then genetics, where the word refers to DNA. It also has a function in programming languages and even in ethics. In the album “Universal Code” by saxophonist Muriel Grossmann, who lives in Ibiza, her music itself serves as another meaning. It is a modal jazz that appeals to the spiritual through its polyrhythmically complex groove, without neglecting the body as another recipient. Her long pieces with extended improvisations effortlessly propel forward, deriving strength from highly disciplined ensemble play, where flexing muscles is not part of the gestures. Muriel Grossmann and her three collaborators — guitarist Radomir Milojkovic, Llorenç Barceló on Hammond organ, and drummer Uros Stamenkovic, with bassist Gina Schwarz supporting them in some tracks — engage their audience in this manner. The compositions of Muriel Grossmann possess too much elegance for that purpose. Upon the initial impression, this approach may seem outdated, but over the course of nearly seventy minutes, which “Universal Code” claims, it simply proves to be a classic vocabulary that derives its modernity from the fact that these melodies and harmonies, these phrasings and accents, all naturally fall into place and speak directly to the listener. The first three tracks are named “Resonance,” “Clarity,” and “Interconnection,” precisely describing what the music does to you.
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