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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ingrid Laubrock & Tom Rainey - And Other Desert Towns (Relative Pitch, 2014) ****

By Stef

Two of the most fascinating musicians of the free improvisation scene are Ingrid Laubrock on sax and Tom Rainey on drums, partners in life and partners in music. Their musical universe is something special, one of resonance and emphasis, of intimate immediacy and deep restraint, rather than effects and spectacular outbursts.

Or to put it differently, the rawness of the duo setting is softened by the lyricism and accuracy of the playing. Laubrock's tone is warm and round as usual, while Rainey's playing is nothing short of brilliant, complex, polyrhythmic, always subtle and at times of a simplicity that lesser drummers wouldn't dare play. Despite the welcoming warmth of her sound, Laubrock is also a genius at building up tension and a sense of anticipation, keeping something unreleased, something untold in her playing, which forces you to keep alert and attentive for what's coming. And what the duo does a little more here in a duo setting that is to swing like crazy, and this as an integral part of the overall more subdued nature of the music, and tracks like "Scoff-Scoff-Face" have it all, dragging the listener back and forth between agitated boppish parts and slow sensitive playing. A real treat.

A must-have for fans of either musician, because they are captured here at their best.

Watch a whole show by the duo recorded last year.


Available from Instantjazz.