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This is an intimate meeting between old friends. Bassist Sean Conlyand Michael Attias who collaborated before on Conly's Re: Action (Clean Feed, 2012) and on Attias' recent Spun Tree (Clean Feed, 2012). But this recording features both musicians who work now as the Think Shadow duo. Here, they improvise on the spot, creating melody, rhythm, and harmony, searching for a mutual language.
The fifteen duets are subdued and restrained. Conly and Attias leave enough space for each other and enough room for silence. Both dance around each other's articulations with playful agility, and expand the other's sonic palette yet focus on a delicate balance, free of any virtuosic interplay. They share a basic approach. The sounds take shape and evolve naturally and intuitively, within harmonic structure, but they do not attach themselves to any one sound. As soon as a shared musical idea reaches its ripe peak, they move to the next improvisation.
Improvisations such as Attias' meditative baritone sax solo on "Baghdad Bargain," using dense circular breathing, may hint to his cosmopolitan background as one who experienced migrations spanning Morocco, Israel, France, Minneapolis and New York. Other improvisations, such as "Midnight in the Desert Nothing but Camel Rhythms to Keep Me Awake," unfold in a rich cinematic plot. "Even Owls Dream" and "Shaftway" are adventurously experimental in their focus on pure sonic research.
It is a beautiful document of a mature, improvisational process.
Track Listing: Timeslip; Scylla and Charybdis; Baghdad Bargain; Rabid in Boneyard Blue; Think
Shadow; Midnight in the Desert Nothing but Camel Rhythms to Keep Me Awake;
Tumble; swarm; Gart; Slow Mink; Even Owls Dream; Poe's Pendulum; Shaftway;
Sargasso; Respectable Tawdry.
Personnel: Sean Conly: double bass; Michaël Attias: alto and baritone saxophones.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.