Boomkat Product Review:
Deftly engaging, extended improvisation by Danish saxophonist Signe Emmeluth on her compelling debut for Smalltown’s Actions For Free Jazz, following in the footsteps of Joe McPhee with a playfully engaging addition to an exemplary series.
Wielding alto and tenor saxophone, plus recorder and electronics, Signe makes an immediate impression with her eponymous vinyl debut. In flighty, poetic form comparable to Joe McPhee’s tenor, Peter Brötzmann’s ’14 Love Songs’ or Ka Baird trips, it leads on from her ‘Hi Hello I’m Signe’ and turns in a plethora of other groups (Spacemusic Ensemble, Andreas Røysum Ensemble, Owl, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra) with a somewhat definitive solo expo ranging from rapturous freedoms to intensive small sound explorations, each kinked with an expressive intimacy that feels refreshing and invites listeners right inside her style.
Rendered practically unadorned for most of its duration, Signe makes subtle, if critical, use of acoustic space in her six parts that reveal her in possession and control of a captivating sound. ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’ introduces her natural confidence in flickering between raw and mellifluous lines of thought, while ‘Her Body Is Song’ bites with a ruder tone and animus prepping the way for more bestial honk and shred in ‘Jeg Ser Du Smiler.’ In the 2nd half Signe pull back to classically melancholic cadence for good measure, before popping her funk with wickedly irregular zig-zags on the 12 minute highlight ‘Vil Du Se Min Smukke Navle’, and taking it right back down to abstracted sax + electronic fundamentals in the final part, mapping internal landscapes as seductive as Ka Baird’s psych jags.