Duets! I love them. I love the intimacy of the dialogue, the
limitless possibilities unfolding, with the big danger of losing
focus of the music itself, or of moving in all directions without
keeping coherence. In the hands of true masters, works of art
are created, leading to captivating listening experiences, requiring
some concentration and effort from the listener, but that's a
small price to pay to become part of this music.
Interestingly enough, Kadima released this excellent recording close to nine
years after it was recorded. The artists are Vinny Golia on
woodwinds and Mark Dresser on bass. On the first piece Golia
sticks to flute, switching to sax on the second, and the change
is apparent, both in the quality of the recording as on his
presence, which sounds more dedicated and committed to what
he is playing. Maybe comfort, maybe inspiration.
I recently reviewed some of Dresser's
bass skills, and I have always appreciated Golia for his free
lyricism, without fully relinquishing the jazz tradition, even
with blues undertones in the overall mood.
The second piece, "Can
There Be Two", brings an exploration of a set theme, and explore they do, ranging from forceful
blasts, to multiphonics and sensitive touches, using trills
as on a flute, deep soulful moments, and even some Middle-Eastern
excursions, without loosing the thread of the theme, and all
this in perfect dialogue with the bass.
in the lower registers, with Dresser setting the tone, and
Golia answering on bass clarinet, starting quite abstract,
but gradually picking up a wayward boppish rhythm, and adding
fluency to the phrasing, first while maintaining a minimum
level of abstraction, then turning the piece into delightful
free bop, only to reduce the speed again to more intimate conversations,
ending in a bluesy one-note beat, like coming home.
the last piece, is the album's highlight, with Dresser using
his bow to play some heartrending and sometimes piercing sounds
in an overall dark and ominous environment, with Golia's multiphonics
increase the tension.
Two magicians conjuring up worlds in front
of your ears.