Saxophonist Angelika Niescier (Poland) and pianist Alexander Hawkins (UK) share mutual admiration amid a meeting at the Berlin Jazz Fest. As we fast forward to this duet outing by these increasingly prominent Euro improvisers who recast their respective goods here, think of Language A communicating with Language B, simply using the emotive aspects and non-verbal interactions with their instruments. Here, the output solidifies into a spiritual union of rapid interpretations, cunning contrasts, and orbital characteristics where spoken word really wouldn't matter.
There's an undulating flow throughout. For example, on pianist/composer Muhal Richard Abrams' "Arhythmsongy" the duo enacts dainty unison phrasings with a chamberesque vibe, yet the next piece "Why Didn't You" is designed with Niescier's swirling cadenzas as Hawkins navigates through all registers. Here, a slew of contrapuntal mechanisms leads to turbulence and inferred melodic constructions.
Semi-structured compositions are fabricated with crafty interludes, a hodgepodge of mini-motifs and multi-directional currents, shaded with harmonious overtones and fluent interactions. The tide approaches land a little faster during "Nexus," where the saxophonist's rippling bop lines are countered by the pianist's comping, rapid responses, and reverberating block chords. Once again, they step on the gas via linear and unison breakouts, nestled into weaving passages: you'll need to buckle up for the ride.
"As Hemispheres At Home" starts with Hawkins' sullen and ethereal progressions, offset by Niescier's hooting and breathy notes. But they raise the pitch with torrid, circular movements, and fluctuating moments of solitude offset with temperate hellraising. Indeed, the stars were in alignment during this simpatico musical relationship that accentuates the musicians' collective creative faculties, often executed at a nanoseconds notice.
Brawls And Squabbles; Arhythm Songy; Why Didn’t You; Un:tamed; Shipwrecked Words; Scops;
Weft; Nexus; Metamorphose Einerka Karelle; Loom; As Hemispheres At Home; Limnetic Zone;