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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Benjamin Duboc & Itaru Oki - Nobusiko (Improvising Beings, 2010) ****

My kind of thing: the intimate and intense dialogue between a bass and a trumpet. Nothing spectacular, no effects, no pyrotechnics, no showing off, no screaming .... just two disciplined and creative musicians gently exploring the sonoric possibilities of their fully improvised dialogue, full of a wise joy of life, full of appreciation and admiration for the sounds brought forward, by the other instrument, and one's own.

The duo is Benjamin Duboc on bass and Itaru Oki on trumpet, flugelhorn and flutes, or half of the Nuts quartet, which is among my favorite European bands.

The two musicians mostly let the natural voice of their instruments speak, using extended techniques or "voiceless" sounds add color once in a while but without pushing it. Nor is there any sense of urgency, there is no sense of need either : there can be rhythm or not, phrases or not, repetition or not ... anything goes, but within the same musical framework. The phrases and music softly move forward, evolve and progress, with once in a while in an increase in the emotional intensity, but rarely one in volume. Despite the limited line-up, they vary quite a lot, with Oki playing his flutes, or Duboc playing arco, but also musically there is a lot to hear.

An open and captivating dialogue between two fantastic musicians. It leaves this listener with a great feeling of freedom and peace.

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