The oft-quoted description of a sitting meditation practice, "It's simple but not easy," might be a fitting characterization of this duo performance by cornetist Kirk Knuffke and bassist Michael Bisio. The equanimous and imperturbable approach the pair apply to this single 36-minute composition/recording dares one to disregard the high level of musicianship employed. Don't be drawn into that trap. For You I Don't Want To Go is a follow up to Row For William O (Relative Pitch Records, 2016) and the pair have recorded together in Knuffke's trio with pianist Matthew Shipp, Bisio's Accortet with drummer Michael Wimberly, and in a trio with cellist Michael Wimberly.
Bisio opens the recording plucking alternating strings, pulling the bottom of the sound towards the center as Knuffke's cornet plays a doleful sound. The gloom though does not last long, as the two combine their efforts into an uplifting song. The cornet skitters, popping notes as different registers are explored. The same approach is taken by Bisio at the substratum level. Both players act as co-explorers, reconnoitering the landscape of sounds and resonating spaces. Their investigation takes in not only the simple but the fringes, especially when Bisio, bow in hand, creates edgy notes. This entices Knuffke to also walk a tightrope of sound. The session flows with a simplicity that is, well, easy for these two masters.
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