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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Tim Daisy and Jason Stein - Bascule (Peira, 2013) ****

By Paul Acquaro

I think that the opening track 'Calumet' is the sound of the bascule opening. The  introduction to Tim Daisy and Jason Stein's duo recording begins with the lowercase sounds of air but the mood is soon punctuated by random musical chatter and finally it all gives way to a steady and strong rhythmic bass clarinet and drums stream of consciousness -- which is all to say, it's pretty damn good. Stein's bass clarinet moves effortlessly through the octaves and Daisy's percussion, whether providing atmosphere or rhythmic support, feels flawless.

The intimacy of their conversation also takes on an air of urgency in the follow up 'Center Pier'. Then, the title track begins with Stein's trills and Daisy's rumbling toms. The track becomes almost stressful at times, as the knotty and complex lines of The evolving melody jumps through hoops of its own making.

Stein and Daisy are stalwarts of the Chicago free jazz scene and this duo recording showcases thier talents with delightful clarity. As I write 'highly recommended', the clarinet is reaching an apex of tormented beauty. Good stuff indeed.

Listen, buy, have fun at the label's website.