Kevin Kastning / Carl Clements — Even This Late It Happens
(Greydisc GDR3536, 2017, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-12-10
This adventurous, dreamy and introspective collaboration continues where it left off last time with 2016’s A Far Reflection, and Nowhere, Now Here prior to that. Kastning brings his 36-string double contraguitar, 30-string contra-alto guitar, and 15-string extended classical guitar to the session, while Clements brought tenor and soprano saxophones, flute, alto flute, and bansuri flutes – not all at once of course. The approach is similar to previous efforts, seemingly of composition on the spot, though one might find a telepathic connection between the two players that keeps a listener guessing. In fact this may not be pure improvisation at all, but a loosely planned stream-of-consciousness journey that shifts and morphs with the players’ whims, the variety of instrumentation making for a limitless variation of possibilities in real time. The fact that no steady rhythm drives this, and all those strings provide so many unusual shades and colors, which ultimately provide support for the woodwinds beautiful presence throughout. Sometimes the two explore together, other times they trade off lead and support roles, but in general it’s Kasning’s guitars that create a textural environment where all this energy thrives, with Clements providing the wandering melodies that drift and flow freely, surging and exploring new paths through a neverending web of dark and light spokes. There is a powerful and captivating sense of pure emotion throughout each of these eight tracks. One can expect a long journey of discovery and rediscovery before really knowing the material at hand; in fact even after dozens of listens I am still surprised by new things I hear on each pass.
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