Matt Mitchell - Piano
Tim Berne - Alto saxophone
Following on New York pianist Matt Mitchell's solo album of Tim Berne compositions, the two join in the studio to record these 8 compositions in a dynamic album of dialogs that includes energetic interaction, explorative playing, and beautiful lyrical work, a profoundly intimate and connected release borne from their long history of collaboration.
freejazzblog.org * * * *:
Tim Berne (saxophone) and Matt Mitchell (piano) are two stalwarts of the New York scene who have collaborated for nearly a decade in Tim Berne’s Snakeoil. Although Mitchell has recorded a solo album of Berne compositions (FJB review here), this is their first proper recording as a duo. And, it is an impressive one. Most notable about this CD is the lack of a leader. Berne and Mitchell approach these compositions as equals. (No writing credits are given, further indicating a deeply collaborative and balanced effort.) There are a few stand-out tracks, as all follow similar themes of shared lead, catchy and deconstructed melodies, homophony, blurred consonance and dissonance, and modulating scales that evoke Coleman’s harmolodics. This speaks to the power of each piece and the cohesiveness of the album as a whole, rather than any sort of stale repetition. Tracks tend to be short for the genre, making them pithy, pointed, and effective explorations of harmonic communication. If you are already a Berne or Mitchell fan, you probably already know the technical and emotive qualities to expect. If you are not familiar with the duo, this intimate recording is a great introduction to two accomplished and forward-thinking musicians, deeply rooted in the free jazz tradition yet still fresh and inspired.
By Nick Ostrum
Last year, innovative pianist Matt Mitchell released Forage, a great solo album whose audacious material consisted exclusively of compositions by alto saxophonist Tim Berne, the man who had hired h....... more