Roger Smith & Louis Moholo-Moholo: The Butterfly and the Bee (2005)
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Former Brotherhood of Breath drummer Louis Moholo and British free-form acoustic guitarist Roger Smith lay their cards out on the table during this extremely attractive studio set. Essentially, neither man acts as an antagonist here. It's more about intrinsic communication, topped off with acutely enacted improvisations featuring great depth and variable rhythmic maneuvers. Moholo's complex drumming parameters are counterbalanced with his alternating use of small percussion instruments. They pursue mechanisms for altering flows and pulses in areas where Smith's buzzing lines or fervent strumming sequences parallel Moholo's asymmetrical movements.
The duo tones it down in spots. For example, on the 24-minute opener and title track, Smith executes a discrete ostinato groove which is expounded upon by Moholo's lightly-tapping tom-tom movements. In addition, the musicians occasionally generate hypnotic effects and low-key subtleties. However, there is so much going on throughout these superb performances that it would literally take volumes of text to accurately describe the inexact science these men pronounce. Sure, it may seem like a paradox, but that's where part of the beauty lies. It's chiefly about the improvised modus operandi these fellows abide by that intimates a rather successful component to the grand scheme of matters. Or chalk it up to music with a sense of purpose amid a positively charged identity that yields a state of free-form bliss! (Zealously recommended.)
Track Listing: The Butterfly and the Bee, Enclosed Sun, Webern in Africa, Letters to Insects, Involuntary Sculptures, Events that Rhyme, Uncancelled
Personnel: Roger Smith, guitar; Louis Moholo-Moholo, percussion
Record Label: Emanem
Style: Modern Jazz