I don't find myself in the habit of covering specific gigs for a number of reasons. The audience for this blog is not primarily local, but rather world-wide for one thing. I cannot afford the transportation to get across the river to catch a gig these days, for another. And it involves a use of my time I can ill-afford at the moment, since my main objective now has to do with seeking out activities that supply my family with much-needed income.
But when Charlie Rauh was kind enough to send me a CD-ROM of himself and violinist Concetta Abbate playing live at the Cornelia St. Cafe in New York this past February 15th, and I liked what I heard, I figured "why not?"
It's over an hour of the two holding forth, nicely recorded by the inimitable and indefatigable Scott Friedlander. Charlie and Concetta create their own musical world, which combines their own predefined compositions and spontaneous improvisations.
It's a kind of chamber jazz with a new music influence. Each has an independent role in the duo; the guitar playing has a little of that Hall with Giuffre ambiance. There are well-chosen melodic strains and chordal compliments to Concetta's violin declamations. Her playing has a cultivated tone and an occasional Gypsy-like flourish.
It's the two in close interaction and the WHAT of the compositions and improvisations that make the duo well worth hearing. I hope some label folks check them out because they need and deserve the exposure of a release. This is music for folks who like things a little different--exploratory and sometimes rather free but expressing also a structural knack that melds the two personalities into a compositional-improvisational singularity. Go catch them if they are playing somewhere near you! And look for a CD release, I hope very soon.