All great art invokes the imagination. Think of your favorite movie and the two hours of viewing that transported you into a different world. Music can accomplish the same ends. Take this live date at Culturgest in Lisbon. The meeting between Portuguese guitarist Luís Lopes and French saxophonist Jean-Luc Guionnet creates that same cathartic response.
The pairing of the two musicians with seemingly different philosophies makes this an interesting session. Lopes comes from a rock and punk background that has remained with him as he explores the freedom of improvisation in bands like the Humanization 4tet, Lisbon Berlin Trio, Big Bold Back Bone, and Afterfall. His Noise Solo At ZDB Lisbon (LPZ, 2013) was a master particle acceleration of sound. Guionnet is a connoisseur of musique concrete and the avant-garde saxophone. He can create minimalist sound, but also, like his trio The Ames Room Bird Dies (Clean Feed, 2011), he can parse out a splintered post-bop attack.
The two lengthy tracks conjure emotion and memories of just about every science fiction film ever made where space travelers either escape the atmosphere of this planet or attempt reentry. The opening calm of "Part I" floats weightlessly on single notes of the saxophone and the gentle feedback of guitar. The tranquility of space is soon disturbed by the alerts of tongue-fluttered saxophone and the squawk of notes. Lopes turns up the intensity (and noise) pushing the piece into the turbulence of sound. Electricity-meets- brass, as the two struggle with the instability of the terrain. The equanimity of the start gives way to a Sonny Sharrock/Peter Brötzmann exchange. "Part II" engages from the start. This piece relies more on a, for lack of a better term, call-and-response approach. Lopes and Guionnet trade a muscled sound, scraping the edges of notes on metal and pushing each other with a feverish pace. The music resolves itself before it self destructs. Lopes and Guionnet have escaped Earth's orbit.
Part I; Part II.
Luís Lopes: electric guitar; Jean-Luc Guionnet : alto saxophone.
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