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Duology + 2 at the London Jazz Festival

John Sharpe By

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"In That," introduced by Marcus as "our latest piece written on your trains," featured a taut theme, followed by a swinging section of spirited horn interplay, with trumpet and clarinet moving in and out of synch in competing bursts, eliciting a fiery trumpet foray from Daniel before a closing duet. It wasn't all power play. Daniels "Spiral Landscapes," posited Death Valley National Monument as a less threatening place than might be imagined through a bucolic horn duet over sparse backing, before Marcus' clarinet swept through like arid wind.

Each set ended with a playful rendition of the band's theme tune: the late Dewey Redman's "Dewology." While the musicians' brief duet version at the close of the first set felt a bit of an afterthought, they really went for it to round off the second set. The cartoonish theme gave way to sparkling interplay over roiling percussion, before a raucous whole group free improv section erupted. Daniel and Marcus turned to look at each other and cued a final restatement of the theme, with a Howdy Doody time feel. It was a neat gambit to end a very satisfying performance and a great festival opener.

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Images by John Sharpe

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