The truth is always enough. Saxophonist Matana Roberts and pianist Pat Thomas of Black Top in duo recorded live at Cafe Oto in east London on 8 December 2018. Roberts on 'Part 2' as so often in her sound does to the alto saxophone what Anthony Braxton did to the music of Charlie Parker as an advanced starting point, everything is then brand new in her vision. She is a free improviser in the best sense, that is one who can compose in the moment via a fully intact set of ideas in that elapsed time of improvisation.
The Truth is not all about Roberts by any means and a key point is how two instrumentalists in the moment adapt their own vision to the other's not by submission but by comprehension and intuition, the two indistinguishable. Certainly Thomas on the above track fires Cecil Taylor-like chords as punctuation. That changes on 'Part 3' where he is more interested in the innards of the piano, reverberating hammer sounds are warped and become unearthly. Roberts is more bluesy and that blues connotation means the track is more of a lament that never forgets to acknowledge.
How the album began on 'Part 1' was full of grandeur. Thomas's introduction had a sweep to it that when Roberts comes in exudes a further sense of calm statement and reality. Thomas is more Monk-like at the beginning of 'Part 2' but that fleeting sense evaporates in a maelstrom of intertwining lines. A wonderful duo album that's The Truth. The proof is all present and surrounds. On OTOroku
Tags: Album / EP reviews