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Recorded in New York in March 2001 as part of Elliott Sharp's 50th birthday celebrations, this is the second release from this duo, after Anostalgia (Grob, 2002). The combination of Reinhold Friedl's pianoprepared or played insidewith Sharp's array of instruments is highly distinctive. The two players are adept at laying down repeated patternsas close as one could ever get to riffs in freely improvised musicwhich are frequently complex, but also highly engaging and entertaining. Typically, Friedl lays down the pattern and Sharp both goes with its flow but also acts as a random element, not allowing it to get too comfortable.
Once a pattern has been established, you will not be shocked or surprised by any sudden changes of direction. There is development of ideas, but their flow seems logical and unforced, arising from negotiated interactions between the two. The pair embellish and elaborate patterns for as long as seems appropriate. It never feels as if a piece has outstayed its welcome or been flogged to death; rather, one is much more likely to be left craving more of the same as a piece fades out when it seems to have potential for further exploration. This is just as true of "Ify, which runs to over eleven minutes and builds to an impressive climax, as it is of the shorter tracks.
The pieces have very different sounds and moods, from the pleasing tranquility of the opener, "Dict, to the harsher electronic edge of "Pel, but they have far more similarities than differences, and there is a feeling of overarching order and coherence to the album.
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...