ALBUM OF THE WEEK FOR WEEK BEGINNING 31 JULY 2023
It's a very private experience listening to the piano and percussion imaginings you find on Kairos from Izumi Kimura and Gerry Hemingway recorded in Ireland and Switzerland last year. It's almost as if you tiptoe in to pick up any track given the intensity of what you encounter and tiptoe out. But crucially your departure does not take place before becoming privy to a new, yes, kind of mindful reality and even mystical revelation given the surprises in store on the scene shifting 'Over the Tide'. Carefully calibrated improvisations in the main conducted quite strictly even severely given the power of Kimura's pithy chordal sense of attack, the pair know how to pull the rug from under your feet. The US born Hemingway reviewed earlier in the year heard along with Day & Taxi finds a warmth to his timbral journeying most when he uses marimba to add to the blend of quiet fracturings and strong punctuation from the prodigiously fluent quicksilver imagination of the Japan born, Ireland-based pianist Kimura. We liked their work with Barry Guy on Illuminated Silence and like this too for its serenity - it has an intimacy and a lot of strength. Some pieces have more of an episodic structure than others - you find that kind of construction on 'Day into Night' - what the pair are examining seems to embrace notions of time in an elemental sense as if crunching a clock under the microscope to know more about the mechanics of the machine, playing with our expectations, making us brood and delve into the silences of the afternotes and the physics of striking a note, filling a ticking silence in a vast universe somehow. The vocal that envelops 'Over the Tide' may jolt - it seems to belong on another record with its street preacher mystic intensity tapped from the peak of passion found in Hemingway's thunderstruck vocal. But the more you think about it subverting your expectations is just what this duo are all about.
Gerry Hemingway and Izumi Kimura, photo top via the label on Bandcamp.
More reading and listening:
- On Illuminated Silence - 2019