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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Torben Snekkestad & Barry Guy - Slip Slide And Collide (Maya, 2014) ****

By Stef  

Both Norwegian saxophonist Torben Snekkestad and British bassist Barry Guy have been classically educated and have performed and released classical CDs, but they are equally active in modern music and jazz. On this duo set, both musicians improvise on thirteen relatively short pieces, and what they bring us is more than worth listening to.

The album's title, "Slip, Slide and Collide", is taken from a metaphor of the movement of tectonic plates on our planet's crust, and gives an indication of what both musicians do, but then it doesn't, because it reduces their interplay to some mechanical geographic occurences, instead of intentional dialogues, which can be fierce, but also gentle, and even emotional. 'Utsira', the first track gives a good example of the latter, when Snekkestad's sax howls like a sad dog, with notes being bended to higher pitches, full of agony. In 'Ombo', the two musicians engage in a more parlando discussion, with short bursts full or surprise and antagony.

On the long 'Gurumna" we get the opposite: the bowed bass creates a foundation of long stretched notes, an invitation for the sax to join in the dark and ominous atmosphere, which is wonderfully dispelled by the almost joyous and lyrical 'Silda', on which the sax sounds warm and round, while the bass sounds like tumbling pebbles.

My favorite track is 'Cruit', a sensitive and beautiful interaction between bowed bass and high-pitched sax.

These two artists know their instruments, they sense each other well, and use the space for maximum contribution, including the occasional silence or resonance. One of the better sax and bass duets of the last years.


Anonymous said...

Mark said...
thanks for the enticing review Stef. I'd wondered about this CD when I saw it listed on the Maya site. You've helped me decide to investigate further.
Also, good to have your reviewing voice back on the site - it is missed even amongst all the other good reviewers you've now got involved. There must be some Wadada Leo Smith or Robe Mazurek (check out his new one onInternational Anthem)for you to review for us....