The Squid's Ear Magazine


Berner, Palu / Michael Moore: Amulet [2 CDs] (Ramboy)

More uncommon than than the sax/drum duo format, reedist Michael Moore performs on clarinet and Paul Berner on contrabass, releasing this double CD of intimately recorded duos, an eclectic mix of standards and original compositions in a lovely and engaging set of lyrical and succinct expression from two eloquent and passionate improvisers.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Paul Berner-bass

Michael Moore-clarinet


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UPC: 5904424870133

Label: Ramboy
Catalog ID: 39
Squidco Product Code: 30718

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: Netherlands
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at Studio 2, in Muziek Centrum voor de Omroep, Hilversum, the Netherlands, on December 5th and 6th, 2020, by Frans de Rond.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"In the early '70s, Chick Corea and Gary Burton made a duet record entitled Crystal Silence. With just piano and vibraphone, they bet the farm on intimacy and designed a template for contemplative jazz duos. Almost a decade ago, bassist Skuli Sverrisson and saxophonist Oskar Gudjonsson cut a triumph of the approach, The Box Tree. Its artistry was imposing, but it was the music's hushed nature that centered the program. Mildly romantic, utterly calm, the interplay glistened.

Bassist Paul Berner and clarinetist Michael Moore accomplish something similar with Amulet. These duets are the epitome of refinement, barring all things extraneous. They leave room only for melody, an aside or two, and the chance to absorb the natural beauty of their instruments. Expat Moore, a boomer who has lived in Amsterdam long enough to be considered a veteran of the city's creative improvising cohort, is a key member of the esteemed ICP Orchestra; he has also recorded a wealth of original albums (don't miss the most recent by his Fragile Quartet), and, with Jewels and Binoculars, two CDs of Bob Dylan gems. His clarinet work can be as elaborate as it is inviting, but here he plays to one of his strengths: simplicity.

Through a curt series of songs, one of our most engaging clarinetists invests in consonance and nods to pith. Bassist Berner, another Netherlands transplant of a certain age, is known for his agility and poise. His rapport with Moore is obvious. Through Louis Armstrong's "Home," Nat Cole's "Answer Me, My Love" and Joni Mitchell's "Night Ride Home," a genteel spirit dominates as the exchanges play out. To steal descriptors from each of the participant's individual liner notes, you can call this one a "heartfelt dialogue."-Jim Macnie, Lament For A Straight Line



"Here's what the producer has to say: "Chemistry between musicians is a magical thing. Michael Moore and Paul Berner have that kind of magic. When they play, the music seems to flow in a natural unhindered stream, each note being an obvious continuation of what was played before. It was a thrill to be in the producer's seat at this session, witnessing these two masters going about their craft. How they would feed off each other and pass the ball at just the right moment. Observing how they would shape a song into a whole by polishing, simplifying or embellishing where needed, yet all the time being aware of the freshness and immediacy of creating in the moment.

In order for musicians to function at this level, the environment has to be right. Engineer Frans de Rond deserves credit for designing a sound stage upon which Michael and Paul could thrive and create. Frans experimented with various microphone set ups before deciding to keep it as simple as possible by using only the Josephson 700s to record the duo. When Frans was satisfied with the balance of the musicians and the ambient sound of the hall, we invited Michael and Paul up to the control room, hoping they would agree that this was the sound with which we were going to proceed.

"This is us, this is how we sound, this is so real." was Michael's reaction upon listening. Paul just smiled at Frans and said: "Let's play!"

Listening right now to Amulet I marvel at the completeness of the album, how each song sounds as if it could not have been played in any other way. And it is all the more remarkable knowing that Michael and Paul were improvising, making up the framework of each song right there on the spot. And I marvel at the vivid naturalness of the sound, it's as if I am there, standing at the sweet spot where Frans placed the microphone."-Peter Bjørnild


Get additional information at Lament for a Straight Line

Artist Biographies

"Internationally-recognized American bassist Paul Berner, who has lived in the Netherlands since 1991, is renowned for his extremely musical, melodic and subtle playing. Gorgeous melodies are the hallmark of this bassist. The music he plays with his Paul Berner Band is a fascinating blend, influenced by Americana, jazz, country and folk, with languid songs that evoke images of sultry summers."

-Paul Berner Website (https://www.paulberner.com/)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Michael Moore was born (1954) and raised in Arcata, California, USA. After absorbing music at home, playing locally and attending The College of the Redwoods and Humboldt State University, he moved to Boston to study with Jaki Byard, Gunther Schuller, Ran Blake, Joe Allard, George Russell and Joe Maneri at the New England Conservatory of Music, graduating in 1977. After a year in New York City he travelled to Europe for the first time in the summer of 1978 to play with Available Jelly, the musical accompaniment to the Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe. Since 1982 he has made his home in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The early '80's found him working in the theater (Baal, Dogtroep, De Voorziening, Teo Joling, Mug met de Gouden Tand) and dance (Pauline De Groot, Katie Duck, Allessandro Certini, Shusaku Takeuchi and Virgilio Sieni) as well as various musical contexts such as Gijs Hendricks' Octet, Franky Douglas' Sunchild, Guus Janssen's Septet and Maarten Altena's Quartet and Octet. Later he played and recorded with the groups of Mark Helias, Gerry Hemingway, Sean Bergin, Maurice Horsthuis, Georg Graewe, Klaus Konig, Burton Greene (Klezmokum), Simon Nabatov, Dave Douglas, Myra Melford, Mark Dresser, Ig Henneman and others.

In 1986 he received the Dutch jazz award, the Boy Edgar Prijs. In '97 Trio Clusone was voted #1 acoustic group (Talent Deserving Wider Recognition) in Down Beat's Critics Poll; in 2000 - 2002 Moore was voted #1 clarinetist in the same poll. He was also voted winner of the Bird Award from the Northsea Jazz Fest in 2000.

Since '91 his activities as composer and performer have been documented both on his own recording label, Ramboy, and others including hatART, Palmetto, Gramavision, Between the Lines and Red Toucan. His playing and writing are to be heard on more than 80 CDs.

His activities as a concert designer came to the fore in '93 with a commission for YoYo Ma's Carte Blanche at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; a three day festival (Moore & more) in Bremen, Germany; Clusone & friends concerts in Italy and Holland, and a three-day Available Jelly Festival at the Felix Meritus concert hall in Amsterdam. In '94 he organized three evenings at De Singel in Antwerpen with Lee Konitz, Misha Mengelberg, Joey Baron, Marilyn Crispell, Gerry Hemingway, Kenny Wheeler, Mark Feldman and others.

His more recent activities include performances with his 'Fragile' Quartet, Michael Moore Quintet, Jewels & Binoculars - play the music of Bob Dylan, Misha Mengelberg's Instant Composers Pool Orchestra, the Magpie dance and music performance group, the Achim Kaufmann Trio, Benoit Delbecq, Oskar Aichinger (music of Carla Bley and Annette Peacock) and the Paul Berner band.

Michael Moore has a deep understanding of both the American jazz and the Dutch improvised music traditions, but his writing and playing are also influenced by music from other cultures. He has played Turkish music with Ogüz Büyükberber and Hüsnü Senlendirici, Malinese with Toumani Diabate, Keletigui Diabate and Habib Koite, Portuguese with Fernando Lameirinhas and Cristina Branco, and Brazilian with Rogerio Bicudo, Banda Mantiqueira and Paulo Moura. The musics of Sicily, Madagascar, Istria and Indonesia have also been particularly influential. He has collaborated with and been influenced by poets and poetry, dancers and other visual artists. Michael continues to write, improvise, play and prepare new releases for Ramboy and other labels."

-Ramboy (http://www.ramboyrecordings.com/mm.htm)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



CD1



1. I Never Knew 4:20

2. Answer Me, My Love 4:11

3. But Not for Me 4:00

4. This Nearly Was Mine 3:49

5. Night Ride Home 4:28

6. Crazy He Calls Me 2:24

7. Home 4:43

8. Emptier 2:50

9. Amulet 3:54

10. I'll Fly Away 3:49

11. You'll Never Walk Alone 4:02

CD2



1. The Sweetest Sounds 4:41

2. The Man I Love 4:57

3. The Gift 2:22

4. Quasimodo 4:35

5. The Best Thing for You 3:31

6. Baby, Baby All the Time 4:11

7. The Water is Wide 2:26

8. Born to Be Blue 5:34

9. I'll Be Seeing You 5:28

10. You'll Never Walk Alone 4:03

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Duo Recordings
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Jazz & Improvisation Based on Compositions

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Ramboy.


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