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CD/LP/Track Review

Ernesto Diaz-Infante & Chris Forsyth: Left & Right

By Published: January 1, 2000
Ernesto Diaz-Infante is a musician who is apt to churn out delicate, minimalist passages and fragmented themes as a pianist (see Jan ’00 AAJ review - Ucross Journal ) or here on Left & Right utilizes a prepared acoustic guitar (left channel) along with electric guitarist Chris Forsyth (right channel). From the onset, it would be a fair summarization that the music presented here takes you on a journey which is often bizarre, at times harsh, surrealistic and most certainly abstract as the liners advise..... “A series of time lapsed duets” – recorded on separate tape machines in separate rooms on separate coasts”.

The twelve pieces on Left & Right are simply indicated in numerical form, as there are no track titles ascribed to these improvisations. “Track One” is quite steely edged as the twin guitarists emit grinding or mechanical-like sounds whereas Forsyth utilizes electronic feedback as a medium on “Track Two” and coupled with Diaz-Infante’s prepared acoustic guitar the results are often startling if somewhat thought-provoking. Here, imagery seeps out from within the unusual sounds and penetrating improv via imagery, which at times instills a sense of the macabre.

On “Track Three”, Forsyth is seemingly moving the RCA jacks in and out of his electric guitar, which implies yet another unorthodox medium or tool of his trade. Here, the sound of electrical crackling noise contrasts Diaz-Infante’s circular phrasing which may suggest a life of infinite doom yet the melding of these deranged sounds and odd implementations are to be taken in various perspectives. Throughout, this twosome summon the depths of one’s imagination as this unusual saga proceeds as we cite “Track Six” where Diaz-Infante rekindles thoughts of free jazz legend, Derek Bailey via his slicing and dicing attack. Here, Forsyth’s electric guitar sounds as though he plugged it into an antiquated stereo system that is on its last leg or transistor. On Track Eight”, the duo seem to be heading into multiple directions as the combined result may speak of two distinct personalities joining forces or seeking common ground.

To put it rather mildly, Left & Right is not for everyone yet what these two musicians have achieved underscores the old saying - anything is possible. In retrospect, the music on this recording may seem improbable yet we respectfully concede that the mind is by and large, an untapped resource. Here Diaz-Infante and Forsyth give a bit of credence to that notion as they pursue previously unknown terrain with this quite remarkable if somewhat outlandish affair while it may be a safe assumption that Left & Right will most assuredly leave a lasting impression - pro or con! * * * *

Personnel:

Ernesto Diaz-Infante; Prepared Acoustic Guitar: Chris Forsyth; Electric Guitar

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Record Label: Pax Recordings

Style: Modern Jazz



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