Natural Time’ review by Leonid Auskern, Jazzquad, Belarus

ori­gi­nal arti­cle by Leo­nid Aus­kern in Jazz­quad, Bela­rus, 03.02.16 

Trans­la­ti­on by Murka

Muri­el Gross­mann – Natu­ral Time
Natural Time DR 08 CD 2016I have had the plea­su­re to acquaint our rea­ders with the works of Aus­tri­an saxo­pho­nist Muri­el Gross­mann, living on the Ibi­za, Spain, for her 2015 album Earth Tones. On the first day of 2016 Muri­el released a new album under the name of Natu­ral Time. If the pre­vious work car­ri­ed a con­cep­tu­al Gross­mann (an over­view of the disk can be found on the web­site), the out­ward­ly Natu­ral Time is not. As Muri­el descri­bed in an inter­view with JC San­ders, which for­med the basis of his liner notes, “Natu­ral Time is just a sin­ce­re mes­sa­ge, an album, whe­re we play for ordi­na­ry peop­le like you and me.” I per­so­nal­ly think, it is not so, becau­se here almost every com­po­si­ti­on, even if not lin­ked by a com­mon the­me, has its phi­lo­so­phi­cal implications. 

Howe­ver, let us first hear about the obvious chan­ges in Natu­ral Time in com­pa­ri­son with her pre­vious work. Muri­el plays here not only on the sopra­no but also the alto saxo­pho­ne. Pre­ser­ving the for­mat of the quar­tet, she and her regu­lar part­ner, the gui­ta­rist Rado­mir Milo­j­ko­vic, work here with a new rhythm sec­tion. It is the Aus­tri­an bas­sist Gina Schwarz, an old friend of Muri­el still in Vien­na, and the Ser­bi­an drum­mer Uros Sta­men­ko­vic. The quar­tet her­ein reaches gen­der pari­ty, and perhaps the balan­ce of yin and yang was the key to the har­mo­ny and inner balan­ce of the per­for­mance of Muri­el Gross­manns music. This, of cour­se, a joke, but in the past, and now the posi­ti­ve ener­gy real­ly comes through with each song of the album.

The Tit­le­song and one of the lon­ger pie­ces of the album ( „Natu­ral Time”) — I took it as a reflec­tion on the flee­ting time, dating back to the bibli­cal “time to be born and a time to die” of made and mis­sed — has a beau­ti­ful solo of Gross­mann and Milo­j­ko­vic, in the back­ground a relent­less­ly repe­ti­ti­ve rhyth­mic sound­s­cape, inspi­red by just such a pos­si­b­ly erro­ne­ous inter­pre­ta­ti­on. In con­trast to this tit­le pie­ce, in the final com­po­si­ti­on „Bliss”, it see­med to me, the­re is no time at all. From this pie­ce brea­thes Bud­dhism, it is full of inner peace, as if lost in the asce­tic nir­va­na — again in my free inter­pre­ta­ti­on of Muri­el Gross­manns music. And the “key” for the music which hap­pens, the com­po­ser gives herself in the same inter­view for the liner notes. Reflec­tions on hap­pi­ness („Hap­pi­ness”) with an impres­si­ve bass solo by Gina Schwarz in the intro­duc­tion, and also ano­t­her does not requi­re explana­ti­on, the pie­ce cal­led „Peace For All”, and dedi­ca­ted to the plight of Afri­ca „Afri­can Dance” a pie­ce with a grace­ful rhyth­mic pattern.

And for all this pro­found­nes, this music is sur­pri­sin­gly easy to lis­ten. If the­re is the con­cept of “user-friend­ly inter­face”, is app­lies to the music of Muri­el Gross­mann, she is fit to intro­du­ce a “friend­ly new jazz”; this style of music is not always found. And the final touch to this review: one thing in the new pro­ject remai­nes unch­an­ged, com­pa­red to the pre­vious: the album cover art again is deco­ra­ted by Muri­el and her child­ren — abs­tract bright jui­cy colors — as in the music of Muri­el Grossmann.
Leo­nid Aus­kern 

© & ℗ 2016 Dreamlandrecords
7 tks / 63 mins
Muri­el Gross­mann – as and ss, Rado­mir Milo­j­ko­vic – g, Gina Schwarz – b, Uros Sta­men­ko­vic – dr