Perhaps for the first time in the history of music, here is two violas, double bass, and drums quartet featuring the New York-based Mat Maneri & Tanya Kalmanovitch, and Copenhageners Tomo Jacobson & Kresten Osgood. Calling their music chamber free improv gives some clues about the sound world you are entering, but it also falls very short in the face of the multitudes presented here. ‘Variations On No Particular Theme’ is a pregnant name in which we can look for the key to this album. Of course, it brings to mind the classical tradition, yet with a twist. Free improvisation might be understood through the prism of the title as an act of constant variating on being-playing in that act itself, with no particular theme nor agenda other than doing it. 'Non-particularity' on the other hand (with 'particularity' defined as “the quality of being individual”) brings forth an idea of leaving the individualistic tendencies in order to together reach for 'wholeness', which the Oxford dictionary defines as “the state of forming a complete and harmonious whole; unity”, or “the state of being unbroken or undamaged.” And indeed, there is something very 'now' and very 'together' about this spacious music, that might give you a sense of time stopping.
Mat Maneri needs no introduction, he is probably the most respected and celebrated jazz and improv string player alive. Tanya Kalmanovitch is a Canadian violist, ethnomusicologist, the Associate Professor at The New School in NYC. She and Mat released in 2016 an insanely beautiful highly acclaimed duo album ‘Magic Mountain’. Kresten Osgood is one of the most versatile drummers we know, who played with pretty much anybody from Roscoe Mitchell, and Paul Bley, to Brad Mehldau, and Kurt Rosenwinkel. Last but not least, Tomo Jacobson, the youngest of the four, with over 30 albums to his credit has proven himself to be an adventurous improviser on numerous occasions over the years.