Juno Award nominated creates a most dynamic recording of original music with Duets!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Eclectic yet amazingly accessible, Duets is a most impressive lyrical exploration from alto and soprano saxophonists Tara Davidson as she is paired with some of Canada's finest improvisational talent for a release that is as diverse as it is melodically engaging. The underlying subtle success of the recording may be as simple as the fact that the participants were all hand picked and friends of Davidson which allows for a special chemistry that transcends the more stereotypical notion of a duet and allows the music a freedom rarely heard.
The instrumentation is different and includes cello, acoustic bass and guitar and while not foreign in nature to most improvisational music fans, certainly not common place. Dissecting original compositions is somewhat dangerous as most readers don't necessarily have the same frame of reference from which to appreciate the particular point of view expressed. Highlights certainly include "Silver Skates" with guitarist David Occhipinti and "Kontrbass Semaisi" featuring the cello of Andrew Downing but each artist is contributing a special perspective of the harmonic road less traveled, an organic yet spatial depth of three dimensional sound simply deconstructed to a root form.
Tara Davidson's musical resume is most impressive having performed at Carnegie Hall and the famous North Sea Jazz Festival. If your tastes run slightly left of center yet you aren't looking to get thrown off the edge of the proverbial lyrical cliff than Duets is highly recommended!
Tracks: Lele's Tune Part 1; Lele's Tune Part 2; Silver Skates; Train To Tarrytown; Kontrbass Semaisi; 130 E. 39th St.; For Glenda; Murphy's Law; Sheep Walking; The Halcyonian Years; The Good Earth; The Neigh-Sayers; Colebourn M.D.
Personnel: Tara Davidson: Alto and Soprano Saxophones; Mike Murley: Tenor Saxophone (6,9); Trevor Hogg: Tenor Saxophone (4,12); Andrew Downing: Acoustic Bass (10) and Cello (5); Laila Biali: Piano (7,11); David Braid: Piano (1,2,13); David Occhipinti: Guitar (3,8).