Lucian Ban (piano) and Alex Harding (woodwinds) have performed and recorded together for 20-years besides their prominent activities within global progressive jazz and improvisational circles. The universal language of jazz is conveyed here as Detroit-reared Harding and the Romanian born pianist gel to a variety of tempos amid solstice, reflective sentiment, off-centered blues balladry and bouncy grooves. Toss in some lyrically resplendent tapestries of sound and a crystalline audio production, you are liable to become entranced by the duo's moody vibes that are etched within an underlying sense of glee.
The musicians occasionally engage in some friendly fire but Harding's deep bass clarinet work on "Black Sea" is comped by Ban's lower register contrasts and loosely articulated Latin phrasings along with his playful picking of the piano strings that offer Harding some improvisational rhythmic support. Other works feature soul-stirring dialogues with Ban's up-tempo ostinato vamps and ascending block chords, adding a bit of tension and dynamic buildups on "Not That Kind Of Blues," countered by Harding's edgy wails and a catchy hook. Here, the duo rips through concise unison statements and ballsy exhortations as they build intensity and execute some reverse-engineering metrics along the way.
It's easy to detect that the duo has been collaborating all these years. At times they seem clairvoyant while interacting and reinventing, without rushing the game-plan by veering off into abstruse angles or rummaging through extended soloing blowouts. Essentially, there are many magical moments throughout this pleasurable and incisive set.
Dark Blue; Tough Love; Chakra; Black Sea; Monkey See; Not That Kind of Blues; Esto; H.B; Lowcountry Blue; The Invisible Man; Hymn.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.