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Speaking in Tongues

Ganesh Anandan
Malcolm Goldstein
Rainer Wiens

Ambiance Magnetiques AM 118 CD, 51:20,

From the go-get this is exciting. Anandan plays an international assortment of frame and other drums in this improv trio. The opening “Twenty Fingers” could easily be more than that, the percussionist bringing memories of everything from Taj Mahal’s percussive guitar on “Eighteen Hammers” to a fantasy of Pheeroan ak Laff in New Delhi. Goldstein is a well-known violinist with way too few recordings. XI has recently released an expanded CD version of his classic Folkways LP Vermont Seasons. This is my first meeting with Rainer Wiens and his prepared guitar. He does everything, from harpstrum to Derek Bailey, and he does it well. The percussion is beautifully recorded; you can hear the air in the drums. Goldstein is wiry; his violin, that is. Actually, it is multitextured and multileveled and his playing could evoke equally Billy Bang or L. Subramanian. He shines, glows, really, in “Voyage en Train.” In “Ra Ma,” Goldstein’s ghruff violin sounds more like a horn, the sounds Bhob Rainey or Greg Kelley might make. It is magical. Saxophonist Frank Lozano joins for just one track, “Fra Ma Ga Ra,” but his half-Evan Parker half-Bismallah Khan sound fits seamlessly in the ensemble as does the piece within the whole. Highest recommendation.

Steve Koening