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Woodwind specialist/improviser/composer and big bandleader Vinny Golia knows no bounds! Here, the highly esteemed California denizen performs a series of attractive duets with harpist Susan Allen on the aptly titled recording, Duets.
On this release, the maestro utilizes an arsenal of clarinets, flutes and saxophones or just about any wind instrument imaginable. Yet the duo often provides surreal soundscapes via contrasting dialogue amid a distinct sense of unity and unaffected beauty as Ms Allen’s nimble flurries and implied rhythms counterbalance Golia’s multifarious concepts.
Throughout, the twosome renders fluttering undercurrents and animated exchanges on pieces such as “Duet Number 2” where Golia, performing on flute, imparts dream laden textures, imbued voicings and circular passages atop Ms. Allen’s fluent lines, deterministic mode of execution and vivacious interaction.
Golia picks up the soprano sax on “Duet Number 4” as the musicians mesh chamber-esque themes with soulful harmonies, although Golia’s low register explorations on contrabassoon elicits imagery that could suggest the proverbial - man versus machine concept.
Overall, Duets is a comprehensive feast for the mind’s eye as this duo invites the listener to embark on a mystical yet vibrant journey that intertwines escapist musings with poetic improvisational speak!
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.