Monday, November 23, 2015

Simon Nabatov, Mark Dresser, Projections

Pianist Simon Nabatov and bassist Mark Dresser have been music companions and running buddies for 30 years. They have shared the stage together on numerous occasions but as a duo the first recorded meeting is at hand. Projections (Clean Feed 327) captures them live in a set at LOFT in Cologne last year.

The two show a togetherness that comes out of long association. It is spontaneous, improved new music of an advanced avantness and a "free jazz" expressivity. Extended and traditional techniques meld together for the sound of adventure. They phrase in sound and note with a great ability to drive thoroughly into a two-in-one zone that does not so much rely on regularity of pulse as clusters of sound, emanations of soul-spirit and cosmic expansion.

Simon is a master of unleashing torrents of harmonically ambiguous phrases at peak moments that Mark counters in kind. But then Dresser excels here too in contrasting attacks, bowed slurs and dynamic flurries that show much musical intelligence and long preparation. And both vary densities with envelopes of sound events that provide contrasts and polarities one listens to with fascination.

Few duos of piano and bass attain the sort of outside heights of Nabatov and Dresser here.

There is an unpredictable openness and stylistic coherence that lays out very well and keeps the listener in a state of anticipation and subsequent fulfillment.

This is avant improvisation on a very high plane. It creates worlds of rarified sound synergies and does it in ways that make for a very satisfying set.

Very recommended!

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