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Evident
Bass World review
Sandor Ostlund
On Evident, Joëlle Léandre teams up with Mark Nauseef (who has played with such diverse artists as bassists Jack Bruce, Steve Swallow, Police guitarist Andy Summers, The Velvet Underground, Kenny Wheeler and the Gamelan Orchestra of Saba) in live concert to record nine free improvisations. Léandre’s immense musical presence on this CD again shows why she is considered one of the great contemporary musicians and bassists of our time.

The pieces start out sparsely, usually by Nauseef, and organically grow as the duo decides in what direction they want the piece to go. It is fascinating to hear not only how ideas are tossed back and forth, but how they can be rejected as well (as seems to be the case in "Evident 4" in which the bird whistles introduced by Nauseef are almost immediately rejected by Léandre). The pieces are by no means free-for-alls, and they often have clear form and seem logically – though spontaneously – put together.

Léandre’s facility on the instrument and her creative use of a vast array of modern techniques give each of the pieces a unique character from gentle and lyrical to aggressive and violent. A highlight of the album is "Evident 8" for solo bass in which one gets pulled into the symphony of sounds she is creating through her complete control of her frenzied ponticello, percussive accents and moaning vocals. Although Léandre is usually the preeminent voice, Nauseef proves to be a perfect partner for her, using an incredibly wide and always interesting palette of sounds. Often the duo creates such thick and unusual textures it is difficult to believe that there are only two musicians recorded on stage. This disc showcases two great improvising musicians and is highly recommended.

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