I’ve just submitted a review of Kodian Trio’s II, a strong six-track effort scheduled for a Nov. 17 release. The band features Dirk Serries on electric guitar, Andrew Lisle on drums and Colin Webster on alto saxophone. This Q&A was part of my research.
How does this differ from other projects the band members work on?
Serries: For me I always considered KT to be the one and only “free jazz” band I’m in. From day one we approached our trio somehow, musically that is, as a more playful entity than something that is determined to cause mayhem, and play only loud and intense concerts.
Especially now with the second album we really reached a new way of playing together. Perhaps a bit more musical while keeping control over the abstractness and free improv. KT became a trio, to my ears, that can be both playful and restrained at the same time. A true free trio.
Lisle: Out of all the freely improvised trios I’m part of, Kodian Trio is the one with the most time spent performing back-to-back gigs. This time playing night after night, even for relatively short periods, gives the trio a natural telepathy which impacts the way we interact on stage and in the studio.
Webster: For me, all the projects I work on are different – some more so than others. Kodian Trio is a meeting point for a lot of my interests in improvised music, and where that crosses over into noise, drone, rock and so on.
The playing is so intricate. Was it a difficult album to record?
Serries: I don’t think it was, not to my knowledge. It was intense for sure as with every take you had to be 200% focused. But thanks to the great live room acoustics of the Sunny Side Inc. studio we performed and recorded the album without any major obstacles, and almost every song back to back. It was a really smooth process. That year  we were also playing together a lot and that truly enhanced our communication through sound. I personally kept on downsizing my pedalboard until just one pedal effect while Colin dedicated himself to the alto saxophone only. The live experience, each of us finding our own tune, sound and timbre and the respectful communication boosted us to record this so-called difficult second album.
Lisle: If anything, this session was one of the easiest I’ve done due to the amazing sound at Sunny Side Inc. studios.
Webster: The playing is intricate, and the sound is certainly dense in places, but it wasn’t a struggle at all. We had been playing a lot together by the time we recorded this album, and had reached a point where we could easily transition between very dense, and also very sparse, or ambient playing.
Any reference points I can share? Band member favourites, currently listening to, etc.
Lisle: At the moment I’m really into: Don Cherry & Ed Blackwell – Mu, James Blood Ulmer – Tales of Captain Black, Booker Ervin – Freedom Book and everything Eric Dolphy ever recorded.
Webster: I’ve been on the road a lot lately, and usually listen to a lot of metal when I’m driving! Other than that, a lot of Last Exit/Bill Laswell stuff. Also really loved the latest Dave Rempis albums.