Michael Manring / Kevin Kastning — In Winter
(Greydisc GDR 3511, 2012, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2014-01-27Given that the vast majority of Kevin Kastning's releases are all or nearly all acoustic affairs, this collaboration with bassist Michael Manring holds out the promise of being a change of pace. In spite of Manring's electric presence, the overall mood is quite similar to typical Kastning fare, though different enough in detail to make it worth checking out. These 20 pieces, ranging from 1:18 to 6:30 in length, are wandering moody improvisations (or possibly loose compositions) mainly featuring the two players' customized instruments — Kastning on his extended acoustic guitars, Manring on his Hyperbass. Manring's fluid fretless melodies provide lovely contrast to the bright acoustic sounds of his cohort, and the subtle use of effects further expands the palette. But don't expect any of the pyrotechnics you might find on Manring's other work. This is contemplative music, more suited to a quiet evening in a rural location than to a teeming city. A soundtrack to drifting off comfortably, not frenetic activity.
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