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Friday, June 18, 2010

Lol Coxhill & Enzo Rocco - Fine Tuning, The Gradisca Concert (Amirani, 2010) ****

It is a short album : one track of thirty-three minutes, with Lol Coxhill on soprano and Enzo Rocco on guitar, yet every minute is a pleasure. Both stellar musicians, each with his own distinctive sound, create in the moment improvisation, slowly, cautiously creating beautiful music, without hurry, yet full of emphasis and expressivity. Coxhill sings and moans, sometimes simultaneously, but to me Rocco is the real discovery. His touch on the strings is light, precise, full of unexpected phrases, with often a hypnotic circling around the same tone, gradually shifting, an easy focal point for the saxophonist to pick up the thread and expand on it. The end result is both intense and refreshing, with the duo a perfect match. Rocco's playing is intimate and pointillistic, as if he's sitting in the room next to you, without any reverb at all, with a low-toned and dry sound, while Coxhill's sax resonates, with his stretched phrases adding expansiveness and a sense of space. Great music is full of contrast. These guys know how to do it. A great album, only too short.

Below the larger part of the concert. Check out 4/5 for Rocco's muted guitar precision - it sounds so simple, yet it sounds so great.

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© stef