Essential New Music: Kuzu’s “Hiljaisuus”

Photo by Julia Dratel

Hiljaisuus is the Finnish word for silence, and that’s one thing that you will not encounter across the two sides of this LP. Kuzu is a trio that plays free jazz and voltage-enabled improvisation. Dave Rempis is one of the loudest saxophonists in Chicago, a town not known for its retiring reedists, and Asheville, N.C.-based guitarist Tashi Dorji is a master at making six strings sound as big as a bridge’s suspension cables.

Percussionist Tyler Damon, who recently left Indiana for the Windy City, combines a sculptural approach to sound with an unreformed ex-skater kid’s love for blurry, break-neck motion. This music is varied and dynamic, but silence isn’t part of the recipe. Excitement is, whether the band is snarled in a three-way tangle or one member of it is blazing flat-out while the others give him space.

—Bill Meyer