7

Joelle Leandre / Nicole Mitchell: Sisters Where

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Joelle Leandre / Nicole Mitchell: Sisters Where Sisters Where forms another installment in the fertile collaboration between French bassist Joëlle Léandre and American flutist Nicole Mitchell, following on from Before After (Rogue Art, 2011) and Flowing Stream (Leo Records, 2014). One enduring feature of the pairing is the attractive opposition of high and low ends represented by their respective axes, although of course Léandre can effortlessly traverse that divide with her virtuosic bow handling. What further helps make the session work so well is that each includes a healthy dose of lyricism in their discourse, alongside more extended techniques. But it is their sense of improvisatory fun which undercuts what might occasionally pass as a demure classical recital.

Both are consummate performers, and it's a given that anything they are involved in will achieve high standards. Renowned for her unique synthesis of flute and voice, which she blends so they are near impossible to disentangle, Mitchell almost transcends her instrument. For her part Léandre mixes drive and ceaseless variation with a deep resonance, while her vocals add a further layer of possibility, without ever veering into overbearing theatricality. In tandem they create a winning combination, whether through unity in converging phrases, or separation via freewheeling counterpoint, like a pas de deux in contemporary dance.

The 42-minute program comprises six joint inventions captured live in Paris in early 2013. On "Sisters on Venus" passages of delicately intertwining flute multiphonics and arco overtones confirm the twosome's appeal. Other highlights include the dashing bowing matched by spiralling outpouring of flute melody, like a lark ascending on "Sisters on Uranus," while for "Sisters on Mercury" Mitchell alternates between flute and squeaky voice, with trills and plosives, which prompts Léandre to switch to a staccato attack. On the same cut, the American astounds by drawing two simultaneous tones from her flute.

Later during the atmospheric "Sisters on Saturn," they craft a soaring edifice from a drone punctuated by short energetic flurries, eliciting deservedly enthusiastic applause from the audience at the close. It presages a brief encore—"Sisters on Earth"—in which singing lines deconstruct into croaks and whispers before eventual silence. The only downside to a compelling set comes in a somewhat cavernous sound which results in a loss of clarity and detail, particularly on the flute.


Track Listing: Sisters on Venus; Sisters on Uranus; Sisters on Mercury; Sisters on Mars; Sisters on Saturn; Sisters on Earth.

Personnel: Joëlle Léandre: double bass, voice; Nicole Mitchell: flute, alto flute, voice.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Rogue Art


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Boss Tenor" CD/LP/Track Review Boss Tenor
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: July 20, 2016
Read "Suite Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Suite Ellington
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Prog Noir" CD/LP/Track Review Prog Noir
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Conditions" CD/LP/Track Review Conditions
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "Chronicles" CD/LP/Track Review Chronicles
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 29, 2016
Read "The Digging" CD/LP/Track Review The Digging
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 31, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!