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Saturday, March 16, 2024

Strinning & Daisy – Castle and Sun (Veto Records, 2023)

By Fotis Nikolakopoulos

I really like Tim Daisy’s drumming and the way he utilizes every inch of his drum set. Even though he definitely comes from a lineage of free jazz drummers, his approach is unique and allows a lot of pleasure to those of who believe that the drummer should not be confined to the role of the timekeeper.

As a fan of his music, I must comment that duos and small ensembles are one of his chosen paths to express his musical ideas. Here, with Sebastian Strinning, who plays tenor saxophone on this recording, seems at his best again. Actually they both sound on top form.

The sax and drums duo, so well documented, recorded and commented in the history of modern music, never stops to appear fruitful. If I had to guess, I’d say that this is happening because it relies on a basic form of human connection and understanding. Two people of whatever age, gender or sexuality always enclose the core (or the start in numbers maybe) of people’s exchanging in ideas and feelings.

Here on Castle and Sun, another very good free jazz release from Veto Records, they rely on interaction and listening to each other first. Listening first, playing after that: this is the very heart of improvisation. Their playing on Castle and Sun is linear, like they are following each other’s path, leaving room for ideas to blossom and following each other’s ideas and gestures.

Strinning’s tenor sax spreads phrases in a humble way like trying, always, to leave room for his fellow player. Even though I tend to avoid blowouts from saxes these days, if I had to make a criticism on this fine recording, I would say that some more energetic passages would help me as a listener. But his subtle approach is so much more closer to his partner playing, that the aforementioned thought makes me believe it’s just me nagging a bit…

I cannot say if the two have played together before, but, certainly, they seem to know each well. And above all they definitely seem to use fluently this non verbal way of communication called improvisation.

Listen here: