Marilyn Crispell & David Rothenberg - One Dark Night I Left My Silent House (ECM, 2010) ****
Gianni Lenoci & Gianni Mimmo - Reciprocal Uncles (Amirani, 2010) ****
Jazzy playfulness in "Steppin' Elements", and modern classical permeate all pieces. It is not easy listening, yet very rewarding.
Niko Meinhold & Noel Taylor - Border Patrol (Self Published, 2010) ****
Splatter" CD, here forming a duet with German pianist Niko Meinhold. The intro of the first piece already gives a great sense of direction: this duo can create suspense : sparse clarinet tones, and the use of extended techniques on the piano strings, make you want to know what is coming next, how these otherworldly sounds will evolve, merge, bounce back. Without working with themes or even recognisable patterns, the two musicians master and integrate the legacy of their training : from classical music, jazz, blues to more modern aspects of new music and avant-garde, nicely navigating between romantic lyricism and abstract tension and discovery, this is music with character and vision. Both are also great at using silence and pace in the development of their improvisations. Their lack of urgency gives most pieces a very careful, even cautious feeling, with the quality of the notes getting preference over their quantity or even of the complexity of the interaction.
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Watch a visual artist's impression of "Invocation" by Crispell and Rothenberg (possibly the most romantic piece on the album)