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Terrence McManus & John Hebert: Saints and Sinners

Glenn Astarita By

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Here's an album that was recorded in 2010 and released in 2015. Hence, It's better late than never, especially since this duo production by rising star experimental guitarist Terrence McManus and all-universe jazz session bassist and leader, John Hebert tease our imaginations via these nine contrasting works. The duo's creative improvisational sparks and acute call and response mechanisms tender deft expressionism from start to finish. They pose a challenging sequence of circumstances that spawn an abundance of mind-bending gambits.

McManus and Hebert launch the gala with edgy dialogues on the brief opener "Quick Roux," where the guitarist's flickering notes generate a recurring sense of anticipation. Hebert's buoyant and somewhat fractured plucking maneuvers help set a bulging pace for many of these asymmetrical currents. No two works are distinctly alike, as the duo nips and tucks amid crosscutting exchanges and the guitarist's swirling chord clusters, zinging harmonics, stammering single note leads and succinct chop chords. Hebert occasionally switches to arco patterns that often initiate ominous situations.

The duo's fragmented theme-building efforts are fashioned with angular and geometrical relationships. However, on "Saints and Sinners" and It's "Always Something," the musicians shift the paradigm into avant-ethereal soundscapes, partly reminiscent of vintage Brian Eno or Harold Budd style ambient-electronica framed minimalism. McManus artfully uses extended notes and calming volume control techniques atop Hebert's malleable improv excursions. And while the album is unclassifiable by conventional standards, they zoom into the 4th dimension and seize your attention by pulling you into their rather mesmeric improvisational domain.

Track Listing: Quick Roux; Downriver; My Word!; The Levees; Psycho Rockabilly; Cajun new Year; Southern Hospitality; Saints and Sinners; It’s Always Something.

Personnel: Terrence McManus: guitar; John Hebert: bass.

Title: Saints and Sinners | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

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