Alexander von Schlippenbach/Carlos Bechegas: Open Speech (2004)
There are moments where the music sparks. “Speech V” finds Schlippenbach at his most animated, the only other exception being “Speech II,” where he attacks the piano and draws out rapid flurries of notes. But for the most part he remains surprisingly subdued; his blending of free and new music remains intact though, if not slightly detached. Bechegas is more animated, trying hard to pull Schlippenbach out of his lull with swoops and swirls, vocalizations and the extended techniques he has become known for in free music circles.
But for the most part this is a relatively uninspired and uninventive set where two obvious experts in the genre just don’t seem to click. That is, of course, the risk inherent in free music; but it’s too bad that Bechegas saw fit to release this set of music. Given how outstanding Open Frontiers is, the expectations for this disk were high indeed. Sadly, anticipation is never satisfied; Open Speech may be of some interest to fans of either musician, but they would be well advised to look elsewhere for better examples of real improvisational spirit.
Visit Carlos Bechegas on the web.
Track Listing: Speech I; Speech II; Speech III; Speech IV; Speech V
Personnel: Alexander Schlippenbach (piano), Carlos Bechegas (flute, voice)
Style: Modern Jazz