This trio recording from the tail end of 2022 is a trove of inspired playing and complex listening, however, it also ‚goes down‘ easy. Alto saxophonist Anna Kaluza’s cool, edgy lines give Voccia a lot to work with and around, while bassist Matthias Bauer’s big, enveloping sound provides ample support for sonic exploration.
The tracks are titled ‚Part 1‘ through ‚Part 9,‘ ranging from three to nine minutes, each one with its own unique character. ‚Part 1‘ begins with a bird call from Kaluza, followed by Voccia placing some perfectly formed chords in between the following melodic snippets. Bauer drops some resonant notes as the track builds up in intensity. Half-way through the five minute track, the approach has solidified as Kaluza’s packed lines are punctuated with similar bleats to the opening moments as Voccia and Bauer ratchet up the energy. In ‚Part 2,‘ Kaluza is again leading the way with some wide intervallic leaps and extended melodic ideas, while Bauer is moving quickly over the finger board in an abstract walk. Voccia’s accompaniment is precise and effective as she and Kaluza thrust and parry.
However attractive the propulsive motion of the first two tracks is, the exploratory nature of ‚Part 3‘ is truly beguiling. Bauer draws out harmonics and textures from his strings and Kaluza is aflutter throughout her instrument’s range. Voccia seems to not be there at all, until you realize that after the tinkle of tones at the start of the track, she’s playing the insides of the piano filling in space with light percussive clatter. Voccia returns in full on the next track, playing a deliberate and harmonically rich solo introduction for several minutes before the others jump in.
While each track is worth examination, it could also be simply said, ACM is a fantastic work of both group and individual improvisation. Paul Acquaro