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Saturday, October 31, 2009

William Parker & Giorgio Dini - Temporary (Silta Records, 2009) ****

A welcome addition to the rare concept of double bass duets, with classically trained jazz bassist Giorgio Dini from Italy and William Parker interacting for five freely improvised pieces, with the former often on arco and the latter plucking his strings, but trust me, there are no rules, nor task divisions. On one short track Parker plays his shakuhachi, powerfully, plaintively. Parker's soulful bass playing forms the perfect complement for Dini's refined lyricism, as on "Improvizzo" when his powerful vamp forms the perfect background for the wailing arco of Dini. But the real treat of the album is the magnificent last track "Danza e Finale", which starts with piercing, howling duet of arcos, expansively, rhythmically, hypnotically, trance-enducing, until the whole thing slows down towards the middle and despite this the wails get even more poignant, like a love serenade by whales, with Parker adding some light percussion for contrast, and then he turns the piece back on a rhythmic powerful drive. The quality of the performance largely compensates for the EP's short length, and yes, I wish, you wish it would have been longer, but then on the other hand, these two great musicians capture so much of their instruments' wonderful range, power, rhythmic pulse, sonic possibilities and warm sensitivity, that even the limited time makes this a treat. This is an album that will not only please bass players, but any modern jazz fan.

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© stef