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Soren Moller / Dick Oatts: The Clouds Above (2010)

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Soren Moller / Dick Oatts: The Clouds Above How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The Clouds Above is the continuation of a duet project that pianist Soren Moller and saxophonist Dick Oatts
Dick Oatts
Dick Oatts
b.1953
saxophone
began with Storytelling (Audial, 2005). Like that release, The Clouds Above brags all originals save for one classical adaptation, in this case Sergei Prokofiev's Balcony Scene from his 1935 ballet, Romeo and Juliet, here captured lyrically by Moller's most restrained pianism. Oatts plays alto on the piece, weaving in and out of the scaffolding erected by Moller. The effect is one of nervous excitement, sharply presented.

Oatts moves to soprano for "Reflections," his serpentine lines melding with Moller's rhythmic attack. On "Wide Open Spaces," the pair dons an almost pastoral tone that is both reflective and aloof. Moller solos angularly and with a quiet intensity, while Oatts' cold silk tone slides over the piano like dry snow, blown by Moller's gently propulsive wind. This is intimate, interior music, creative thought manifest.

The Clouds Above is kin to Bill Anschell

and Brent Jensen
Brent Jensen
Brent Jensen
b.1960
sax, soprano
's We Couldn't Agree More (Origin, 2009). These duets tend to be edgier and more modern sounding than Art Pepper
Art Pepper
Art Pepper
1925 - 1982
sax, alto
's Tete-a-Tete (Galaxy, 1982) and Going Home (Galaxy, 1982), or Frank Morgan
Frank Morgan
Frank Morgan
1933 - 2007
sax, alto
's Double Image (Contemporary, 1986), both with George Cables
George Cables
George Cables
b.1944
piano
. Moller and Oatts opt for a more originals-oriented, cerebral approach in their duets. The result is a thoughtful recording that is often un-nerving, but always rewarding.

Track Listing: Prokofiev's Balcony Scene; Reflections; The Clouds Above; Wide Open Spaces; Jund Song; Butterfly.

Personnel: Soren Moller: piano; Dick Oatts: saxophones, flute.

Record Label: Audial Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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