A contemplative affair, Skuli Sverisson and Bill Frisell's Strata unfolds like a slow burning fire. The hovering notes and somber guitar lines evolve gradually, emerging like wind carved monuments visible through a hovering mist to reveal a stark, melancholic, and aridly beautiful landscape.
The album demonstrates a fluid, masterful interaction between the two artists and maintains a distinct, consistent sound across its 10 selections. Throughout, economical choices sinuously articulate the work's overall pathos. With nothing wasted, the emotive moments come forward sharply, stripped to their bare bones. The effect is sumptuously haunting and is equally effective as a whole or via its component parts.
Moreover, as a follow-up to the graceful release Close your Eyes (Newvelle Records, 2018) by Lionel Loueke, Strata's elegant packaging and gorgeous sound qualityfound only on well-produced vinylreconfirms Newvelle Records commitment to using its subscription service to provide a rich selection of music by innovative artists and an impressive dedication to artistry and subtly.
Strata is a welcome addition to Newvelle Records growing track record, and a testament to the expressive power of jazz's subtler, more minimalist lineage.
Side A: Sweet Earth; Instants; Vanishing Point; Ancient Affection; Came to Light; Side B: Cave of the Swimmers; Amedeo; Afternoon Variant; Segment; Her Room.
Skúli Sverrisson: acoustic bass guitar; Bill Frisell: acoustic guitar.