Thursday, June 04, 2009

Hermit Hears Duets

Hanging at home all day today, just me, the dog and the cat, as the significant other is away. Don't know what Freud would say, but all the records ended up being duets. Marion Brown and Leo Smith, Marion Brown and Elliott Schwartz, Ornette Coleman and Charlie Haden (Soapsuds,Soapsuds), the entire two disc Cecil Taylor/Max Roach duets from 1979. Joseph Jarman and Don Moye, Egwu Anwu (Sun Song) from 1978. So yes, with the exception of the Ornette, each set of duets a double album as well, oddly.

I don't have much to articulate about these recordings, really, except to say there's something uniquely intimate about improvised duets. Having done 24 of them last year I know it firsthand, but it really came home today. The connections between Roach and Taylor are awe inspiring. Haden and Coleman, such purity. I might have listened to Hampton Hawes and Haden too, but it was altogether too mellow by contrast so I saved it.

Don Moye and Jarman call forth Art Ensemble levels of sound manifestation, despite being 2/5 of the band. Heavy with the Africanisms, but still kick-ass. It works somehow, unexpectedly, the layering of sincerity on top of the pretense of African-ness. Why it works: the two of them are absolutely killer musicians. Oh yeah.

Maybe it's time to start blogging again.

1 comment:

Brian Roessler said...

There really is something wonderful about duets - almost a little forbidden sometimes, like listening in on a brilliant conversation... I've been loving a duet record by Dollar Brand and Archie Shepp lately...

And yes, probably you should get back to blogging... nothing like some self-obsessed drivel to brighten a guy's day (kidding. about the self-obsessed drivel. not the day brightening. or the getting back to blogging).

Brian Roessler