Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Barre Phillips and György Kürtág, Face à Face, ECM ***

Hearing all of this in a complete listen now after marvelling at 'Chosen Spindle' which was the first track made available from the album - and actually lands half way - it is striking how episodic and yet so abstract the whole framing and aural …

Published: 21 Aug 2022. Updated: 22 months.

Hearing all of this in a complete listen now after marvelling at 'Chosen Spindle' which was the first track made available from the album - and actually lands half way - it is striking how episodic and yet so abstract the whole framing and aural imagery within are. You may grumpily argue that not a lot happens on 'The Under Zone' and you'd be right. But it ushers in a whole sea floor of a world that Jacques Cousteau himself would have been fascinated to discover on 'Two By Two'. The album has a pre-human phytoplankton-like mystery to it.

The improviser bassist Barre Phillips knows about making the listener wait. And with composer, electronicist, synthist György Kürtág Jr exacting in a similar desire as close confidant and to some extent muse it is ridiculous to file this inspirational album under any one genre.

It is absurd in a way to see it as a Jazz album or any genre with an initial letter capped up and yet jazz listeners above all may get something out of the recording most particularly if attuned to anything verging on the classical avant-garde or even new age music if grappling for bedfellows to flesh out a wider communion to its panorama of reach.

The sonic wobble of Kürtág's response on 'Extended Circumstances' to the stark Phillips lines is one highlight with its cicada of a pulse emerging as if from nowhere.

If you decide to view the album as a soundscape - and yet it's not, even if it comes close at times - the terrain might shift restlessly to pan from desert to sea to soft-focus back again.

Two against nature? No, two very much inhabitants of a planet in danger. We may not hear a stronger ecological statement from anyone this year not that it probably set out to be anything directly of the kind in the first place. Fascinating sounds.

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New look Pizza in the podcast, tapping Azalea and hey Laura it's me - mentions of Laura Jurd and hey Laura's Emanuel Harrold

Latest sounds on the marlbank podcast. Dip in. That was the week that was: And hey Laura it's me - classic Gregory Porter. Check out the track's drummer Emanuel Harrold on his superb Funk La Soul. Soho jazz week is in September. We …

Published: 21 Aug 2022. Updated: 22 months.

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Latest sounds on the marlbank podcast. Dip in.

That was the week that was: And hey Laura it's me - classic Gregory Porter. Check out the track's drummer Emanuel Harrold on his superb Funk La Soul.

Soho jazz week is in September. We brought you the first word on the line-up Click for story. Photo: through the Soho Piano Bar's window on Carlisle Street