Trevor Watts & Veryan Watson: 5 More Dialogues (2011)
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Their conversations, garrulous and engaged in a monumental dissertation about life, emerge from out of a bottomless musical vortex. Such is the power and energy of 5 More Dialoguesthe salvoes of arpeggios, from the hands of Veryan Weston, and the breathtaking glissandi, from the breath of Trevor Wattsthat the gloom of nothingness into which the music pours that silence is not merely shattered, it is reborn, with angular echoes and ghostly whispers amid the melodious caterwauling of Weston's flying right hand and Watts' sleight of hand. Then, as Watts bellows as low as he can on his alto saxophone, there is relative calm before the wild energy is again conjured up from the depths of the sonic vortex. This time, Weston and Watts chase each other as if on a freewheeling gambol across a vast and empty landscape, waiting to be daubed with mellow shades and tones from piano and saxophone alike.
These acclaimed virtuosos then switch gears as they become entwined around on another. Irrespective of who chases whom, melodicism is rampant and harmonics are rarefied and beautiful, as a sort of dance of the double helix ensues. This is, at times, slow and tentative, yet brilliantly attractive as a primitive courtship. Then, as confidence is assured, the inevitable happens: the swagger and verve accelerates the intertwining ballet between piano and saxophone. The melody is heated up by sweltering yowling on soprano, and then again by the proximity of piano and saxophoneas if much too close together, as lovers often are, the double helix twisting and turning maddeningly, making music. This is as primordial as it could get, and yet the magic lingers in chart after chart. It feels as if dawn has been hung upon the waking sky by the dream-like pirouetting of piano and saxophone.
This is as much about the freefalling melodies interwoven by harmonic extravagance and kept alive by a variable rhythmic attack as it is about the exploration of pure sound itself. Thus, when Weston and Watts upturn what seems like a musical hourglass to deconstruct their musical architecture , they appear to reverse their musical premises and again build a sonic edifice. Things appear to move in fits and starts at times, but always there is a sense of where they once were and where they are going, albeit with the element of surprise at where the proceedings have led them. Moreover, the exploration is deep and constant, as if Weston and Watts are compelled to move forward, always changing as they pursue some kind of Holy Grail.
There may be no real beginning or end to 5 More Dialogues. These are musicians captured in the midst of their startling musicality, as they search for what may be described as a truly edifying place in timemaking it a breathtaking journey in which to participate.
Track Listing: cuTWOrm; Exchanged Frequencies; rooTWOrm; Frequent Exchanges; flaTWOrm.
Personnel: Trevor Watts: soprano and alto saxophones; Veryan Weston: piano.
Record Label: Emanem