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CD/LP/Track Review

Karl Berger and Dom Minasi: Synchronicity (2012)

By Published: May 23, 2012
Karl Berger and Dom Minasi: Synchronicity Pianist/vibraphonist Karl Berger and guitarist Dom Minasi
Dom Minasi
Dom Minasi
b.1943
guitar
are both forward-thinking and experienced composers, improvisers and educators, with discographies that goes back to the 1960s—including, in the case of Berger, collaborations with Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
b.1930
sax, alto
, Don Cherry
Don Cherry
Don Cherry
1936 - 1995
trumpet
and Don Cherry
Don Cherry
Don Cherry
1936 - 1995
trumpet
; and, with Minasi, 1970s work with Joe McPhee
Joe McPhee
Joe McPhee
b.1939
reeds
and Matthew Shipp
Matthew Shipp
Matthew Shipp
b.1960
piano
.

Synchronicity's twelve freely improvised duets were recorded in 2010 at Berger's Woodstock studio. All rely on an emphatic and patient interplay that stresses the melodic and harmonic avenues of such a coupling, as well as the breadth of the pair's musical vocabularies.

Their improvising styles may differ—Berger's playing possesses a strong rhythmic edge, even when he plays the piano, while Minasi attempts to sketch loose sonic structures—but their mutual respect and deep listening turn the immediate and urgent interplay into cohesive pieces of music. The symbolic "Chop-Chop" is a good example of the duo's attitude, Berger busy exploring different fractured rhythms while Minasi investigates extended techniques of fretting the guitar strings; but both always respond to each other, never losing the intensity of such an interaction built from scratch.

Some improvisations emphasize an abstract sound ("Waterfall." Others as "Thursday's Child," "She" and "Prophesy"), developing like a stories with many nuances and twists in the thrilling plots, while "Bach?" is a playfully distorted interpretation of themes associated with Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

A masterful set of improvisation.


Track Listing: Dancing On The Stars; Echoes; Chop-Chop; Waterfall; Thursday's Child; Hurry! Hurry!; She; Bell Tower; Synchronicity; Prophesy; Goodbye; Bach?.

Personnel: Karl Berger: vibes, piano; Dom Minasi: Carlo Greco custom L5 archtop guitar.

Record Label: Nacht records

Style: Modern Jazz



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