The title of the album explains its realisation; Britain's Ian Brighton and Henry Kaiser
from California recorded their respective contributions locally and then Kaiser had them melded seamlessly together. Whilst this methodology is true for nine of the eleven tracks, the first two are solo pieces. "In MemoriamJack and Rose Brighton," the longest cut at just under ten minutes, is Brighton's solo, dedicated to his late parents. "Spoonful" is Kaiser's solo, and for the first ten seconds he invokes the famous Howlin' Wolf
classic but then departs into a ruminative acoustic outing, albeit with the occasional fleeting return to the original riff.
"Sounds Of The Soil Pt 2 (Revisited)" is a dedication to the drummer and improvising icon Tony Oxley
, lately seen accompanying Cecil Taylor
. Oxley is arguably the most innovative and inventive drummer to emerge from the British isles. The inspiration for the track emanates from Brighton having recorded a number of the same name on Oxley's February Papers
(Incus, 1977). Similarly, the ethereal "Cathedral Voices," dedicated to Brighton's late grandfather, is a take on his "Chapel Of Splintered Glass," a track on his album Marsh Gas
, (Bead, 1977).
The tracks "Neither This Nor That" and "Moving Along" both offer excellent, limpid examples of the two guitarists working together as one unit despite the five thousand-plus miles between them. The oddly-titled "175 & H" is perhaps a reference to Ian Brighton's trusty Gibson ES-175 which he is wont to employ throughout his recordings. The final track, aptly entitled "In The Last Place" is a perfect juxtaposition of the two guitarists' styles, and is occasionally reminiscent of the starkly contrasting voices of Derek Bailey
and Pat Metheny
on their triple CD album with Gregg Bendian and Paul Wertico
, The Sign Of Four
(Knitting Factory Works, 1997). Together Apart
is a very welcome opportunity to hear the gradually re-emerging Brighton, whose musical renaissance was heralded last year by the release of his album Now And Then
(Confront, 2016). Meanwhile, Kaiser never fails to surprise with his seemingly infinite array of kaleidoscopic guitar improvisations. Put the two together and the result is an attractive amalgam of idiosyncratic styles.
In Memoriam – Jack and Rose Brighton; Spoonful; Getting Started; Lamplighters;
Sounds Of The Soil Pt 2 (Revisited); A Badger Dreaming; Cathedral Voices; Neither
This Nor That; Moving Along; 175 & H; In The Last Place.
Henry Kaiser, Ian Brighton: guitar.