is an exceptional new release brought to us from the fine Paris, France based label, “Potlatch” and features modern day innovators, soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy and guitarist Derek Bailey performing a series of duets culled from a live concert in Paris, 1983. Historically, these two giants of modern music have seldom performed as a duo, which might seem a bit unusual when considering their numerous collaborations within various ensembles over the years. However, we can only treasure the bright moments when they occur, as this outing should delight many fans while the better than expected recording quality strengthens or enhances the overall experience!
With “Input #1”, Steve Lacy’s acute lyricism and brilliant integration of melody along with his heralded if not infamous delivery is perpetuated by Derek Bailey’s seemingly uncanny sense of rhythm especially when considering how he coalesces with the soprano saxophonist’s fluid lines and shifty thematic inventions. On this 16-minute piece, Bailey takes on the imaginable guise of a one-man band performing simultaneous parts in support of the lead soloist. Here, the musicians explore a variety of on-the-fly motifs and engagements while Bailey supplies the undercurrents, alters the flow and works his way into areas that to the commoner, might seem impossible or perhaps something akin to a point of no return. True improvisation of the highest order continues on “Input #2”, as Bailey implements his mastery of volume control techniques on the electric guitar while slicing and dicing through harmonics and dissonant chord progressions. Once again Lacy and Bailey work from within, sans any predefined or conspicuous endpoint(s) as the numerous movements and intuitive interaction emits a sense of timelessness or perhaps cosmic bliss. “Input # 3”, features an improvised arrangement where Lacy honks and grinds his soprano in tandem with Bailey’s chop chords as though the musicians were attempting to choreograph a dance for two awkward souls who in effect, may be tripping over their own feet. Lucid imagery and spurts of humor prevail while the musicians flirt with a loosely based blues/swing motif on “Input # 5” thanks to Lacy’s sweet overtones and Bailey’s fragmented lines as this remarkable encounter approaches its conclusion!
Outcome could also be titled, “The Art Of Improvising” or “How To Create Your Own Musical Language”! Here we are treated to a didactic discourse from two proven masters who explore territories previously inhabited by only a select few! - Essential - * * * * *
Steve Lacy; Soprano Saxophone: Derek Bailey; Electric Guitar
Visit the “Potlatch” website at: www.potlatch.digiweb.fr