Action and interaction are at the crossroads when pianist Alberto Braida and bassist Wilbert de Joode get together. The two are improvisers of the first caliber, always looking for the new and different while acknowledging the root that is the take-off point.
Braida has long been active as an improviser, particularly in Europe. He has played and recorded with an equally impressive host of innovators including Giancarlo Locatelli, Fabrizio Spera, Gianfranco Tedeschi, Wadada Leo Smith, Paul Lovens and Lisle Ellis. He now finds a companion in de Joode, whose credentials have been stamped beyond the pale of doubt. de Joode is comfortable both in composition and free jazz, but whichever way he goes, he brings in interesting motifs that make him a distinct pleasure. It is not surprising that Braida and de Joode construct marvelous sound edifices.
Braida and de Joode shape their collaborations with a remarkable dexterity. The melody that filters through "Is It Here is given dimension on the piano both in the flow of the notes and the attack of the chords. de Joode plays an array of runs to complement the melody. He soon shifts gears with an animated slapping of the bass. The percussive effect ups the pulse, but he goes back to a gentler strumming of the strings when Braida turns to a mellow mood. They have come full circle seamlessly.
Braida and de Joode play a cat and mouse game on "Wadi, circling each other, making swift darts and then drawing back. Silence and space, the bowed classical strains on the bass and the exclamations on the piano are in continuous motion, surging and retreating. The atonal finds its nook in the dry sawing of de Joode's arco until Braida ushers in the melody. The emphasis waxes and wanes but the two make sure that this wadi never runs dry of exceptional ideas.
The understanding between de Joode and Braida gives the record the grain of a unique experience.
Track Listing: Tassili; Leprechaun; tobol; Adrar; Is it Here?; Wadi; Ger; Sonoran; Dome C; Tea Time.
Personnel: Alberto Braida: piano; Wilbert de Joode: bass.
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.