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Cath Roberts & Olie Brice: Conduit

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Cath Roberts & Olie Brice: Conduit
Do not let the length fool you. Clocking in at just under thirty minutes Conduits by the UK duo of Cath Roberts and Olie Brice is a full meal. During the Covid lockdown, the two musicians recorded the music in two separate locations, but also in real time. Utilizing special software called JackTrip, which eliminates the dreaded internet delay, the pair was able to fashion this seamless recording session. Maybe the separate locales necessitated closer listening by the musicians. Here, this is quite evident.

Roberts, a baritone saxophonist who regularly performs with electronics, sticks to her horn here and Brice's double bass maintains an old school sound, mining deep resonances. All this music is improvised. Opening with "Pipework," Roberts sets out in search of a melody, casting a bluesy ballad against Brice's plucked orotund notes. The bassist shifts to his bow as Roberts turns the intensity dial up a few notches, matching energy for energy, followed by the pair in an almost step for step march. "Peering" is all about edges. Both musicians exercise their instrument's periphery, Roberts casting low notes to match her upper register's borders and Brice skimming and diving across his double bass with bow in hand. He taps out percussive notes and growls, sounding not unlike his woodwind partner. Roberts' vocalizing saxophone ends the track with a breathy coda. The final "Buoyancy Chamber" captures the cooperative essence of this improvising duo. The music flows seamlessly with a certain relaxed nonchalance, one you might not expect from free jazz.

Track Listing

Pipework; Peering; Buoyancy Chamber.

Personnel

Cath Roberts
saxophone, baritone
Olie Brice
bass, acoustic

Album information

Title: Conduit | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Relative Pitch Records


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