Sabir Mateen, Christopher Dell, Christian Ramond, Klaus Kugel “Creation”

Recorded live in Berlin 2012, Creation is a fire breathing catharsis. This quartet featuring reedist Sabir Mateen, bassist Christian Raymond, drummer Klaus Kugel, and vibraphonist Christopher Dell get into some real heady zones with Mateen, especially, soaring. With 40+ minutes of improvised raucous chaos, Creation very much has a beginning of a new universe feel to it.

I’ll admit I’m not hugely familiar with Mateen’s work, but know he played with Horace Silver’s and has played alongside longtime faves Cecil Taylor and Daniel Carter (among others). With his sizzling squalls going ballistic at every opportunity, Mateen is dialed in. The trio behind him is exceptionally tight, too, with Dell’s vibes adding an airiness to otherwise deeply potent jams. Perhaps most incredible is the stamina to punch the gas and fly for 40 minutes straight. Pulsating and clanging through falling debris, this music never stops propelling itself forward. 

Over the last 12 months, free jazz has become a fixture in my life. During a time of unending anxiety and never-ending crises, there’s a strange comfort in sharp, discordant sound. The aural chaos is distracting from the real chaos and Mateen and crew shine like an exposed reactor. Creation is life and life may be hell, but at least we’ve got this electrifying freedom.