Sándor Szabó / Kevin Kastning — Parabola
(Greydisc GDR-3505, 2009, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2010-07-01
Like the previous Szabó/Kastning duets, Parabola consists of improvisations utilizing different kinds of acoustic guitar other than the standard variety – 6- and 12- string baritones and altos in this case. The tunings and stringings are also non-standard, leaving little in common with typical guitar music aside from the lovely tone of well-made instruments; similarly the music sits outside of standard genres, not really jazz, folk, rock or academic. While it seems apparent that some planning went into it – perhaps even unintentionally, as musicians will instinctively remember things they've played that worked – the overall impression is of flowing spontaneity, wandering among imaginary realms of sound. Sometimes a tonal center or shared pulse will coalesce out of the interplay, but that doesn't seem to be a deliberate intention. These two players, by some chance of genetics or cosmic fate, are on wavelengths so close to each other that you can't tell where one ends and the other begins. I'm sure that when they listen to these recordings, they can recognize what was theirs and what was not, but an outsider has no way to distinguish. I'm reminded a little of the duets Larry Coryell and Philip Catherine did so long ago, but these are a lot freer, lacking established tunes as a baseline. Atonal music is often abrasive and inaccessible, but in the hands of these two masters, there seems little distinction between tonality and atonality. Even listeners unaccustomed to free improvisation might well find this quite enjoyable.
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more