Joëlle Léandre: Signature (2002)
Masahiko Satoh's has been one of Japan's leading progressive pianists. His strength is keeping a subtle sense of lyricism even in the most disjointed of passages. Lïandre, the stylistic heir to the great bowing bassist Francois Rabbath, matches extremely well with Satoh. His staccato style and her frantic bowing rub together to create fire throughout. Yuji Takahashi comes from a more contemporary classical background and his disc is subtle and cerebral. The sparks from the first disc are replaced by a tasteful sparseness, the music requiring a more active listener to appreciate the duo's interplay. While Satoh and Lïandre were making fire, Takahashi and Lïandre are watching things slowly burn in it. The discs are so different that each listener will definitely prefer one to the other. Both are compelling, though Satoh's disc seemed more inspired. Listening to each short disc straight through is crucial to give Signature necessary context.
Personnel: Joelle Leandre-bass, Masahiko Satoh, Yuji Takahashi-pianos
Record Label: Red Toucan Records
Style: Modern Jazz