196

Avram Fefer and Bobby Few: Kindred Spirits

By

Sign in to view read count
Avram Fefer and Bobby Few: Kindred Spirits Sometimes lightning strikes twice. As proof, legendary expatriate Bobby Few has teamed with fellow sound explorer Avram Fefer for two fresh releases of very different character, and with near-perfect results.

On the aptly-titled Kindred Spirits, Few and Fefer offer a slower, more blues-laden repertoire than the more free jazz-oriented Heavenly Places. But don't let this accessibility fool you; both players retain the same lucid command over their respective instruments that was present in their previous endeavors together.

On piano, Few fills each song with majestic, lush playing, which proves the right approach to fill those awkward pauses that can so often occur in duet performances. By playing in this near-classical style (arpeggios and all), Few has come up with a fresh take on an old song list, which includes not one but four Thelonious Monk compositions. Monk and Few couldn't be more different in their own unique styles, but here the music is made fresh by Few's taking of a complete opposite approach as listeners would expect from a Monk cover. Very cool results.

Kindred Spirits also includes two Charles Mingus tunes and three Fefer originals. A heart-breaking interpretation of Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday" makes an appearance on the album as well.

While hardly diverse in repertoire, this duo will still manage to keep both casual listeners and avid enthusiasts at bay with its uncompromising explorations within the individual songs. These two are not merely playing the tunes; their love of the original source material can be heard in the slow, laid-back feel of the interpretations. Fefer alternates throughout the album between tenor and soprano saxophones and clarinet, obviously feeling at home on each. Capping off the album are two versions of Fefer's composition, "Kingdom Come," one with him on clarinet, the other on tenor sax. He's calling for a comparison, but most listeners will find something amazing in both cuts. The way Fefer handles each instrument, along with the instruments' own sound, helps provide a different mood to both versions of the same song, which, in theory, is something all jazz practitioners aim to achieve.

Jazz duets can be a tricky business to begin with. Not every experiment in the two-musician form can yield the same alchemy-like results that Bill Evans and Jim Hall famously accomplished on Undercurrent, or the same perfection that Chet Baker and Paul Bley managed on their underrated 1985 masterpiece, Diane. But Few and Fefer have successfully found that place between true musical improvisation and the firm roots of the twelve-bar blues. And they've found it together, as demonstrated in these two collaborations.

What fitting titles these two masters of separate generations picked for their releases. Kindred spirits? Yes, I would have to agree. And, separately, a heavenly place? I'd agree with that one, too. I mean, what else would a music lover call a perfect fusion of experimentation and aesthetic grasp?

And that's the place where these giants bring us.


Track Listing: Ask Me Now; Light Blue; Reincarnation of a Lovebird; Come Sunday; Pannonica; Friday the 13th; Orange Was the Color of Hew Dress Then Blue Silk; Heavenly Places; Kingdom Come; Kingdom Come.

Personnel: Avram Fefer, tenor and soprano saxophones, clarinet; Bobby Few, piano.

Title: Kindred Spirits | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Boxholder Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Good Merlin CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Arrhythmia" CD/LP/Track Review Arrhythmia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 25, 2016
Read "Books On Tape, Vol. 2 - Standard Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Books On Tape, Vol. 2 - Standard Edition
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 17, 2016
Read "Lionsong" CD/LP/Track Review Lionsong
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 18, 2017
Read "Spirit Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Spirit Forward
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 7, 2016
Read "Repeater" CD/LP/Track Review Repeater
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Air and Light and Time and Space" CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.