“forcing their listener to focus in on their humble beginnings before smacking them in the face with their hold-nothing-back climaxes”
Protean Reality is an ensemble of young, European jazz musicians who have perfectly exemplified the beauty of Clean Feed records on their self-titled premier record. Saxophone player Chris Pitsiokos is the melodic voice. His softer sax lines begin each piece before the breaking into screeches and pops at the most climactic moments. It may seem excessive to play 20 minute pieces of free jazz, but the band uses all of their time wisely, first forcing their listener to focus in on their humble beginnings before smacking them in the face with their hold-nothing-back climaxes. Communication is always key in these types of playing situations and drummer Philipp Scholz seems to be the connecting voice through his ability to play both melodically and metrically. On “Torturer’s Horse,” Scholz first moves the piece forward with his rhythmic focus then, when given space to play alone, Scholz employs a more texturally appealing cymbol solo. The sleek modern aesthetic of the record is partially accomplished through the electronic sounds of bassist Noah Punkt whose use of explosive electronic sounds furthers the impact of the climactic moments.
Protean Reality is a perfect example of modern jazz: rooted in the past without being obsessed with it.