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A limproviste' by Barre Phillips & Joelle Leandre

Recorded in March 2008 for a French radio show, it's the duo's initial collaborative effort transferred to disc for mass consumption. On this release, bassists Joelle Leandre and Barre Phillips generate contrasting tone poems due to their on-the-fly workouts and anticipation of each other's next move. With contrapuntal passages and spiraling mini-motifs, the musicians render gobs of counterpoint and divergent sub-plots. At times, it's a chess match, but instead of one winner, there are two.

Featuring the musicians plucking and trickling arco lines, they venture into introspective and somber musical terrain while covering a broad spectrum of emotions. They forge human-like dialogues into the overall game-plan with chatty discourses but step it up via ascending choruses amid an abundance of mini-motifs strung together. Moreover, the improvisational aspects and jagged theme-building exercises are often refreshed and spun into multiple directions. So, the plots are constantly evolving, although none of it is contrived and.

It's relatively easy to discern that we're listening to legends casting their multifarious approaches into a cohesive union of music-making. Leandre even tosses in some free-form scat on "Radio Synapse," complete with avant-garde movements and intense undercurrents. In sum, it's a mind-bending expo, where subsequent listens bestow previously undetected musical treats.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Barre Phillips & Joelle Leandre
  • CD Title: A limproviste'
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Kadima Collective Recordings
  • Musicians: Barre Phillips (bass), Joelle Leandre (bass)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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