The duo of trumpeter Brian Groder known for his collaborations with iconoclastic improvisers, saxophonist Sam Rivers (Torque, Latham, 2006) and pianist Burton Greene (Groder & Greene, Latham, 2009) and classically-trained pianist Tonino Miano attempts to bridge the 21st improvisational techniques with the innovations of 20th century contemporary music. These two like-minded musicians draw inspiration from diverse and influential composers, Duke Ellington, Cecil Taylor, Arnold Schoenberg, Béla Bartók and Frederic Rzewski and transcend their influence into a set of lyrical, carefully nuanced spontaneous improvisations.
The emphatic interplay and the rich vocabulary of both musicians enable them to turn the nine improvisations into an organic and quick-thinking exchange of ideas and gestures, patiently accumulating them into, provocative and engaging compositions. The fragile, airy "Depth of Field" exemplifies the duo method of communication. It is structured from spare, colorful, often muted blows of Groder, framed gently by Miano who anticipates his moves, till it blossoms as an expressive ballad, that is concluded on the following "Brushmarks," that adopts similar, fragile mood.
"Inclination" and "Opposite Geometry" suggest different approaches. Groder and Miano move in colliding attacks, creating complex, labyrinthine structures that mature in the following, "Phase Shift." On this improvisation a reserved and subtle exchange of ideas develops into an intense exploration of shifting rhythms, harmonizations and melodic motifs.
"Pinion" refers to the piano suite Squares by American avant-grade composer Rzweski and combines beautifully elements from this suite with improvisational commentary. This set is closed with a playful game of variations on "Wiser Counter Clock" and a gentle and thoughtful ballad "Pas de Deux."
Profound and beautiful music.
Optika; Depth of Field; Brushmarks; Inclination; Opposite Geometry; Phase Shift; Pinion (melodic and textural references from 'Noctamble #3' from the piano collection "Squares" by Fredric Rzewski, 1978); Wiser Counter Clock; Pas de Deux.
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