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In the Context Of
JazzGram
Daniel Godston
The eight duets pairing Mike Reed with Nicole Mitchell, Jeff Parker and Jim Baker are dynamic and full of surprising sounds. The opening track, featuring Reed and Jeff Parker, teems with rapid fire exchanges between these two accomplished musicians. There are places on the track where Reed plays the drums melodically and Parker plays his guitar percussively, so at moments the music sounds like it's coming out of only one instrument. The second track, with Jim Baker, begins with spacey, raspy tones, on the ARP synthesizer, accompanied by Reed's amorphous beats on what could be cans and dishes. Baker then torques up the sonic landscape by making sounds in low and high ranges, and Reed starts playing a spry metallic beat before the improvised composition shoots off like a bottle rocket. The third track, a duet with Nicole Mitchell, on flute and piccolo, builds upon delicate interplay between these two musicians. On this track you can hear aspects of Mitchell's sonic palette, including trills, long tones, lilts and jumps, staccato spurts, and timbres that remind this writer a bit of classical Chinese and Indian music. In The Context Of contains an excellent collection of intimate encounters between Reed and three fantastic musicians. Listen to it the first time to hear sounds you've never heard before, and you'll listen to it again and again to discover more of these nuanced soundscapes.
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