All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

204

Michael Bisio / Eyvind Kang: MBEK

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
An entire program of tandem string discourse may seem at first perusal like at unsavory offering. Few are the numbers of improvising string aggregations that can make such a combination work. Fortunately, as becomes immediately apparent once the music here begins Michael Bisio and Eyvind Kang are string stylists of the strong distinction and their collective mastery of pitch and timbre allows for an infinite array of sonic possibilities. Bisio has collaborated with some of the legends of creative music including Joe McPhee and Vinny Golia. Likewise Kang has kept similarly impressive company working with Bill Frisell and as a frequent participant in many of John Zorn’s projects. Their new offering on Meniscus provides them the space to fully plumb the sonorous depths of their instruments and it’s a challenging pleasure from inception to end.

The opening rendition of Coltrane’s “Seraphic Light” revisits all of the beauty of the piece’s angelic theme while retaining the underlying sadness inherent in the ensemble elements of Trane’s original version. Both players bring a stunning folk-inflected eloquence to the table that inculcates even the most tightly bundled harmonic passages. This is quite honestly one of the most moving pieces of music I can recall hearing in recent memory.

On “After The Break” Bisio’s serrated arco strokes cut thick harmonic slabs that swirl around Kang’s koto-like plucks. Later Kang’s bow builds a succession of subsonically etched scribbles as Bisio bounces his bow against his bridge and strings creating a rumbling racket of immense proportions. Even within the folksy groove figure of “The Biszer” the pair still finds immeasurable space to display their mastery of extended string techniques. “Cardinal Waters” works as the disc’s centerpiece both in terms of length and sheer volume of improvisational virtuosity. Spreading their collective ingenuity across a third of an hour Bisio and Kang cycle through a galvanizing array of thematic material. Both players put their respective instruments through a punishing series of paces and miraculously the level of musicianship never falters. Each piece is a harmonic feast that blends precisely into the next. All of them will require careful and contentious listens to completely grasp all that transpires between the two players. Attending to the dizzying heights these two effortlessly scale in one sitting becomes exhausting, but in the most satisfying way imaginable. Their work here deserves serious consideration as one of the top releases of 2000 thus far.

Tracks:Seraphic Light/ After The Break/ JGLag/ The Biszer/ Cardinal Waters/ Zebulon #3/ MBEK/ Cardinal Waters.

Players:Michael Bisio- bass; Eyvind Kang- violin.

Recorded: November 27, 1998, Flora Avenue Studios.

Meniscus discs are available through North Country Distributing http://www.cadencebuilding.com


Title: MBEK | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Meniscus

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
In the Artist's Own Words
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
Multiple Reviews
Read more articles
Accortet

Accortet

Relative Pitch Records
2016

buy
Accortet

Accortet

Relative Pitch Records
2015

buy
The Root of Things

The Root of Things

Thirsty Ear Recordings
2014

buy
Floating Ice

Floating Ice

Relative Pitch Records
2012

buy
Elastic Aspects

Elastic Aspects

Thirsty Ear Recordings
2012

buy
My Brother

My Brother

Konnex Records
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read Ellipse CD/LP/Track Review
Ellipse
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 23, 2018
Read While We Still Have Bodies CD/LP/Track Review
While We Still Have Bodies
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 23, 2018
Read Ghost Town Blues Band CD/LP/Track Review
Ghost Town Blues Band
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2018
Read Toot Suite CD/LP/Track Review
Toot Suite
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 23, 2018
Read Love + Time + Divination CD/LP/Track Review
Love + Time + Divination
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2018
Read Gleb Kolyadin CD/LP/Track Review
Gleb Kolyadin
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 22, 2018
Read "Duende Libre" CD/LP/Track Review Duende Libre
by James Nadal
Published: May 6, 2017
Read "The Way Home" CD/LP/Track Review The Way Home
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "Drifting Home" CD/LP/Track Review Drifting Home
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 12, 2017
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "The Twilight Fall" CD/LP/Track Review The Twilight Fall
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "To the Bone" CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017