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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Two reviews : Daniel Carter & Federico Ughi - Mountain Path + Daniel Carter & Matt Lavelle Live

The great thing about music is that once you sufficiently master the technique of an instrument, or several instruments, it's like talking a new language, which enables you to express your feelings, or even have conversations with other people speaking the same language. And that's about what happens in two new albums by Daniel Carter.

Daniel Carter & Federico Ughi - Mountain Path (577 Records, 2007) ****

In the first album, "Mountain Path", Carter switches instrument on every track, in the following sequence : piano, flute, trumpet, tenor sax, clarinet, alto sax. Federico Ughi plays drums throughout. The record brings both musicians together six years after their previous "Astonishment". The music played here is entirely improvized, open en melodious, with both musicians interacting in a subtle and gentle way. And although the intensity of the music varies between quiet, subdued tones and high energy, the overall mood is one of creative spirituality. The fact that only two musicians embark on such an endeavour makes it also more accessible. Great album. Both musicians should definitely not wait another six years before their next album.

Listen to Folkwaves

Daniel Carter & Matt Lavelle - Live At Tower Records (Atnimara Records, 2007) ****

The same conversational practice is even more dominant when both musicians speak with various melodic instruments, as is the case here. Matt Lavelle too plays trumpet, bass clarinet (his two usual instruments), yet here he adds the piano, flugelhorn and pocket trumpet. Matt Lavelle describes the method used by Daniel Carter as "no leaders and total freedom", and although that would lead to utter chaos in most instances, on this album it generates very intense and intimistic moments of musical interplay, gentle and creative, in the typical vein of many of Carter's albums, with depth and feeling. Great too!

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Both CDs can be listened to and downloaded from PayPlay.