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This phenomenal duet was recorded live at Constellation
in Chicago in April of 2013. Even in his seventies, Roscoe Mitchell,
remains one of the most consistently challenging pioneers of all
reeds explorers who are still with us. The great Chicago drummer and
bandleader, Mike Reed, has more than a half dozen discs to his name
and this is his second one to utilize the talents of Roscoe Mitchell.
As just a duo, they are forced to go even further than they do in Mr.
Reed's band Loose Assembly, a fine sextet of Chicago's best players.
Mr. Mitchell is a systematic improviser, often concentrating on
one reed instrument at a time. In the first section of "Constellation
Over Denmark", he plays a sopranino sax, spitting out spiral cascades
along with Mr. Reeds' equally focused drums. Mr. Mitchell has a
singular way of overblowing and bending certain notes so that we know
who we are listening to. When Mr. Reed bows or rubs his cymbals, it
is hard to tell who is doing which sound. Mr. Mike is an equally
impressive and resourceful drummer and a perfect match for the
ever-inventive Mr. Mitchell. When Mitchell switches to alto sax
midway through the first long piece, Mr. Reed starts to push even
harder, the duo getting more explosive. Mr. Mitchell is a master at
circular- breathing and keeps up a stream of notes with intense
serpent-like lines. The title of this disc, In Pursuit of Magic
refers to the magic that is produced when improvisations take off and
transcend our everyday concerns, bringing us closer to nirvana. This
is an extraordinary duo no matter what way you hear or see what they
are doing. I do believe in magic and this is it.
- Bruce Lee Gallanter