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Friday, April 3, 2009

Michael Bisio Quartet - Live At The Vision Festival XII (Not Two, 2009) ****

Recorded at the New York Vision Festival in June 2007, this album brings a performance by the Michael Bisio Quartet, led by the great bassist, with Stephen Gauci on tenor, Avram Fefer on tenor and soprano, and Jay Rosen on drums, and to my knowledge this is only the third release of the band, after their CIMP albums "Connections" and "Circle This" . In line with the Festival's positioning, the music is free, wild, driven by a muscular sensitivity, with emotional outbursts, velvet tonal subtleties, and more contemplative moments. None of the material is new, "Hystory Of A Mystery", figures on "Connections", and also on the recent trio with Bob Gluck, and "Nitro, Don't Leave Without It", comes from "Circle This", but that's fine of course, because the quality of the music is more in the performance than in the composition itself. The two pieces are a little over twenty minutes each, giving the musicians ample time to explore and expand the tune, to move it through various layers of intensity and momentum. They can do it all, and they do it all, from the wild all-hell-breaks-loose powerplay to the quiet fragile solo moments, with in between the perfect unison themes. And it must be said, the quartet's expansive quality music has that extra touch in a live performance, not only because of the length of the pieces, but clearly for its much more emotional directness.

Listen and download from Klicktrack.

© stef