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Mulo Francel & Chris Gall: Mythos

Mike Jurkovic By

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Even though Mythos exhibits little variation of intent or tone, and perhaps leans towards the blurry borders of new age, this saxophone-piano duet by Mulo Francel and Chris Gall, two European players catching a lot of continental attention—Francel with the globe-trotting, multiple award winning world music/jazz/acoustic German ensemble Quadro Nuevo, and Gall, who not only frequently guests with Quadra Nuevo but has played in the spotlight at many of Europe's lauded music festivals, including Montreux, Stuttgart, Jazz Baltica and Vienna—is a trance-inducing listen all the same.

The duo's dialogues—Gall's lengthy passages are at once sinuous and sensuous, crisscrossing pop, jazz, and classical forms with sly ease, while Francel's voice is lucid, eloquent, and emphatic—encompass all the pathos and joy not only of living and creating, but also of creating a life built upon willing and mutual respect, discovery, and expression. Sure highlights are "Yorke's Guitar," the circular meditation that sets Mythos into motion. As a refraction and reflection of Radiohead's creative linchpin Thom Yorke, the tune allows for a Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells-like interpretation of Radiohead's singular command of, as well as a denial of, time. Both "Die 7 Weisen" and "Ikarus' Dream" easily conjure an atmospheric, Keith Jarrett-flavored, mood, composition and performance. On "East of the Sun," Francel's slinky, breathy tone and Gall's bluesy cool transport you to some small, eight-steps-down cafe where the cigarette smoke clouds your vision of the stage and the barmaids readily know your elixir. Most thankfully, the bouncing revery of "Reality Check" serves to offset the all too Kenny G-inspired reading of Bach's "Jesu bleibet meine Freude" and their own "Wave."

Track Listing: Yorke's Guitar; Palinuro; Die 7 Weisen; Reality Check; Jesu bleibet meine Freude; East of the Sun; Ikarus' Dream; Dido's Lament; Wave; Sketches of Styx; Old Folks (live).

Personnel: Mulo Francel: saxophone; Chris Gall: piano.

Title: Mythos | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: GLM Music

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