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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Susana Santos Silva & Torbjorn Zetterberg - Almost Tomorrow (Clean Feed, 2013) ****

The trumpet-bass duo is a format I like, as I have said before, the brass and the wood, the high and the low tones, both instruments able to resonate well in closed spaces, not requiring much volume, the intimacy of conversation without disruption ... Paul Smoker and Dominic Duval, Jean-Luc Cappozzo and Joëlle Léandre, Itaru Oki and Benjamin Duboc, John Corbett and Nick Stephens.

And now we get Portuguese Susana Santos Silva, the trumpeter of Lama, and Swedish bassist Torbjörn Zetterberg, reviewed before on this blog with various Swedish bands, who met at a jazz festival in Portugal, then recorded this fully improvised session somewhere in the north of Sweden, in winter, with snow and cold outside, and the warmth of the music and the intimacy of closed space to come up with this riveting and moving dialogue.

Both musicians manage to find the perfect balance between strong musical character, pushing the envelope of sonic phrasing, with short bursts and extended techniques, yet alternating with more welcoming lyricism of the more traditional kind.

To give some examples : the beautiful "Notskalmusik" with long and yearning phrases, is followed by "Head Distortion Machine", a very fit title for the abrasive arco and the growling trumpet, full of misery and unwilling submission.

The most beautiful pieces are "Columbus Arrival At Hajerdalen", a long and deeply emotional improvisation emerging from Zetterberg's arco, with Santos Silva playing some absolutely heartrending and moving phrases, capturing the mood and intro perfectly, and the title track, "Almost Tomorrow", which has some references to Coleman's "Lonely Woman".

Other tracks are more experimental, like the short "Action Jan-Olov", in which Santos Silva adds a dialogue on her own between muted and unmuted, with shifting embouchure, over stagnant staccato pizzis from Zetterberg, or "Flocos De Mel", a longer more minimalist improvisation with sparse sounds creating an ominous and menacing atmosphere.

Highly recommended for fans of intimate avant-jazz dialogues.

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