All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
Under ordinary circumstances, many of us would guess that a pairing of two improvising pianists, performing in parallel, might translate into an all out blitz, duel or slugfest. Well, that supposition represents the antithesis of this newly released recording, simply titled Deux Pianos. Here, pianists Sylvie Courvoisier and Jacques Demierre render intuitive call and response type dialogue via hushed tones, animated choruses, rhythmically charged block chords and intricate harmonic invention.
The pianists pursue demure dreamscapes amid counterbalancing melodies along with the occasional - prepared piano - style implementations. With the piece titled, “Axe”, the duo produces ominous sounding motifs, atop subtle declarations and quaint lyricism. Throughout, the musicians exercise restraint as they establish a communiqué and mode of attack that is based upon concisely stated or fragmented sequences. Essentially, neither of these fine musicians cross paths or in simpler terms, step all over each other.
Deux Pianos represents a dynamic learning process, where the musicians exchange fleeting notions on the fly. However, the beauty lies within the artist’s clever reformulation of applied or suggestive concepts that they expand into substantial frameworks for additional explorations.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.