The two players induce entrancement within a space that seems bounded. However limitless the possibility of the music, Carter and Radding dedicate the register of the sound to a soothing, comforting range-- one that inspires meditation and reflection on the source of the notes.
Carter's horn is a part of his body. The unbreakablity of sound he makes reminds me of photographs I have seen of him walking along the streets of New York, with his horn in his mouth. The ease with which he blows is utterly distinctive. His improvisation is far removed from the way he has played with other groups whose performances I have experienced. Carter's music is deeply intertwined with the tones that Radding renders so smoothly on his instrument. Radding's pizzicatos and emphasis on individual pitches both straight and bent are filled with overtones that are as mellifluous as the pitches he strokes by bowing.
The overall dynamic is solemn and the tempo is slow and stretched through time elegantly. Carter creeps in and out of the intense lowness, brought on by the bass, in ascending scales or forward-moving, perhaps high-pitched ostinatos and tremolos that sometimes turn into blue notes and their extensions. These blue notes trigger an awakening with a different dynamic and different pace. There is no leader. The two instruments do not create a between. Often, there is a switch in the direction of the music that happens in the stream as if two currents come together. This direction is inherited and examined by one instrument or the other. Then an interplay progresses in a variety of contrasts once again, be they through differences in counting, counterpoints, dissonances or harmonies.
This music is nearly silent in its series of melodies and repetitions of phrases. Within the silence grows a shine. The glistening of the horn next to the velvet of the bass strings exudes a radiance the evokes even energy. And although some of Carter's notes connote inner agitation and Radding produces the sourest of notes on his bass, they both return ineluctably, in concert, to a hue of hushness.