Avant Piano and Saxophone Duets: Interaction & SAMA
Joel Futterman/ Kidd Jordan
Matthew Shipp/ Sabir Mateen
Sax-piano duets have an illustrious lineage. The vast majority have relied on compositional signposts to direct their musings, something avoided on these two studio dates that unite seasoned musicians who have made infrequent joint forays into the territory.
First up is the appropriately named Interaction from pianist Joel Futterman
Eight collectively generated cuts in a 49-minute session chronicle the meeting of pianist Matthew Shipp and reedman Sabir Mateen on SAMA. Though both stalwarts of the NYC free scene, this is their first duo. Curiously there is more restraint in evidence than one might expect from their reputations. They often reach the edge but rarely leap over it. Mateen forgoes his regular reed arsenal to concentrate solely on clarinet. Perhaps the chamber instrumentation exerted an influence on both men's thinking as Shipp somewhat reins in his customary hammered repetitions and motifs, emphasizing his brooding romantic side. That's not to say there are no fireworks. Mateen's fluent mellifluous blowing escapes into the stratosphere on "SAMA Five" while Shipp's thunderclap clusters provide a stirring climax in "SAMA Two." Ultimately, though the parts are great, this set doesn't transcend them.
Tracks and Personnel
Tracks: part one; part two.
Personnel: Joel Futterman: piano; Kidd Jordan: tenor saxophone.
Tracks: SAMA ONE; SAMA TWO; SAMA THREE; SAMA FOUR; SAMA FIVE; SAMA SIX; SAMA SEVEN; SAMA EIGHT.
Personnel: Matthew Shipp: piano; Sabir Mateen: clarinet.