Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Music I Liked And Didn't - 10/23/07

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PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE / KEN VANDERMARK: Dual Pleasure CD (Smalltown Supersound) - Ken Vandermark and Paal Nilssen-Love began their musical relationship in 2000, when the group School Days was formed. Since then, they have collaborated on numerous projects, such FME and the Territory Band, among others. They have also recorded a number of duo dates, with this title “Dual Pleasure” being their debut in 2004.

This release is a model of conceptual continuity, with everything being in pairs: two players, Vandermark focusing on a different horn (baritone sax, tenor sax, and Bb clarinet) for two tracks each, even the cover artwork (see above) is composed of duplicate images. The disc begins with “ Flashpoint”, an outstanding freedom chase, with Nilssen-Love providing a solid foundation for Vandermark’s aggressive baritone work. “Anno 1240 “ is next and features Vandermark on tenor sax. It, too, is a fairly aggressive freedom chase until the closing moments of the track. Which provides a suitable lead-in to the next piece “Closed Doors, Open Windows”, a minimalist improv feature for Vandermark on the Bb clarinet that failed to satisfy this listener. The album’s other Bb clarinet showcase “Storefront Materials“ follows and, while still fairly subdued, it is decidedly more lively and entertaining than its predecessor. On “Jean S” Vandermark returns to the tenor and delivers a very soulful, slow burning improvisation of a high order. “Dual Fiction” closes out the set, with Nilssen-Love, once again, both propelling forward and providing excellent splashes of color for Vandermark’s solo flights on the baritone sax. Consistently creative and highly entertaining, “Dual Pleasure” is an outstanding release that displays two world class improvisors at the top of their game!

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Running Count For The Year

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