Friday, May 4, 2012

Heddy Boubaker, Hernani Faustino, Domino Doubles

A sax-bass improvisational duet depends for its success on the abilities of the players to come up with captivating moods and modes, with expressive and productive spontaneity.

So a meeting of Heddy Boubaker, alto and bass saxes, and Hernani Faustino, contrabass, on their CD Domino Doubles (re:konstruKt 057) should be evaluated in those terms.

First off both players have plenty of avant credentials and we needn't rehearse them here. Second, the range of timbres produced by Faustino's bass and Boubaker's bass and alto saxes is considerable. Hernani gets bowed subtones, percussive cascades of abstract phrases, harmonics and the sheer sensuality of the force of bow and fingers against strings. Heddy responds with a full spectrum of avant sax sound-producing techniques: breathy whispers, subtones and "swallowed" notes, full voices and harmonic grittiness. The bass sax brings a special sound to the ensemble and Boubaker does well getting the behemoth to speak nicely. Both players come up with lines of interest when they are not concentrating on timbre.

The session succeeds. It succeeds because both artists are well-attuned to one another and have the imaginative and creative inspiration to work together along with the technical prowess to make it possible.

Duets such as these aren't designed to sell huge numbers of CD copies. They are disciplined statements on the art of bare-bones freedom. This is an excellent example. Grab it if you can!

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