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Daunik Lazro / Joelle Leandre: Hasparren

Glenn Astarita By

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This outing signifies the fifth recording and sole duo pairing by these consummate improvisers, spanning several decades. Recorded at a cultural center in Hasparren, France, the musicians explore the lower register with a profusion of prismatic contrasts as they interrogate and expand upon numerous schematics that at times, seem uncannily composed or sketched out prior to their summit. Of course, the album is totally improvised and the artists' striking intuitiveness is not surprising.

The duo engages in whispery and intimately crafted storylines, established by Joelle Leandre's gentle arco- lines and baritone saxophonist Daunik Lazro's softly woven counterpoint maneuvers in "Hasparren I." Then on "Hasparren II," they yield eerie microtonal etudes, intensified by Leandre's buzzing and nerve-rattling bowing exercises. They progressively open the floor by enacting additional contrasts then generate some hot and heavy dialogues, tinted by Leande's subliminal wordless vocals, as she mirrors her bass notes during the process.

"Hasparren IV" is a solitary tone poem, leading to Lazro's seemingly impossible to achieve, upper-register phrasings as the bassist injects punctual timestamps into the proceedings. Moving forward, the musicians mix it up amid a host of sinuously constructed counter-maneuvers and solemn discourses. On the final track "Hasparren VI," the artists generate oscillating sub-themes, sparked by Lazro's bristling flurries via linear movements. Moreover, they wind matters down as if they've expended huge amounts of energy and running on empty. In actuality, the duo probably has additional reserves in the tank to keep this multidimensional and inexhaustible soundscape going for quite some time. (Recommended...)

Track Listing: Hasparren I; Hasparren II; Hasparren III; Hasparren IV; Hasparren V; Hasparren VI.

Personnel: Daunik Lazro: baritone sax; Joëlle Léandre: bass, voice.

Title: Hasparren | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records

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