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Kent Carter / Albrecht Maurer: The Juillaguet Collection

Robert Spencer By

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Free improvisations that are stunning in their richness and melodic tonalities. Bassist Kent Carter, a veteran of Steve Lacy's Seventies groups, and violinist Albrecht Maurer obviously know each other very well. The music they make together is full of "conventional" harmonies as much as it is of dissonance, so that these pieces sound classically designed and wide-ranging, as if Stravinsky or Mahler had suddenly taken up free improvisation.

Each is a lovely little piece, with the longest (and one of the two based on prearranged themes), "Archaic Fragments," clocking in at a little over thirteen minutes. The others are never longer than nine, but Carter and Maurer manage to say a great deal within these confines. Each piece is varied and yet intricately coherent. The melodic invention on a stately and yet playful piece like "Natrushka," or the more sonorous and dramatic "Riviere," is nothing short of remarkable.

While string duos may not be your cup of tea, if you have any interest at all in "free" improvisation at its absolute best, this disc will appeal to you. Play this for your friends who sneer that free improv is an excuse for a lot of aimless meandering. Recommended.

Personnel:

Kent Carter, b; Albrecht Maurer, vln.

Track listing: Woodworks / Riviere / Archaic Fragments / Nuts in Vienna / Inzwischenzeit / Standing Stones / Plaything / Natrushka / It's Late.

Title: The Juillaguet Collection | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Emanem

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