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A recording of wide-ranging, freely improvised solos and duets by Montreal clarinetist and bass clarinetist Lori Freedman & Toronto trombonist Scott Thomson.

Freedman, Lori & Scott Thomson

Freedman, Lori & Scott Thomson: Plumb (Barnyard)
Label: Barnyard    
Released in: Canada    

"The external details of the three sessions that produced Plumb, the first CD of duet and solo pieces from the Montreal clarinetist Lori Freedman and Toronto trombonist Scott Thomson, are unremarkable enough, if perhaps quaintly so. Freedman and Thomson stood facing each other across a low baffle and over a pair of microphones at The Farm, Jean Martin's west-end Toronto loft/studio, a living space defined for recording purposes by a work table laden with Martin's computers on one side and by comfortable couches on two others, with a gallery of marionettes and plush monkeys looking on quizzically from shelves against the surrounding walls.

Freedman and Thomson said almost nothing before each of their improvisations and very little after. No "How about..." or "Let's try..." The marionettes and monkeys kept their thoughts to themselves, as did, generally speaking, the friends that the two musicians invited to listen in on the last of the three afternoons.

The proof of the music, they all seemed to realize, would be in the playback. That's where the internal details are; that's where things get really interesting, where - as Cecil Taylor has been known to say - the stuff is.

Freedman and Thomson are no strangers to the one-to-one of the improvised duet. Freedman has been half of Queen Mab with pianist Marilyn Lerner since 1992, and Thomson an equal partner in JOUST with alto saxophonist John Oswald more recently. Their paths in free improvisation - Freedman's from New Music and Thomson's more tangentially from jazz - first crossed in Toronto in 2006.

They share a love of those internal details, of the many sounds that are inside one sound - the timbres, textures and overtones that can be drawn out on their own through the liberal application of mutes, multiphonics and, most of all, imagination. Only once on Plumb, in the first of the Two Plums, do the two musicians use their instruments in a relatively conventional manner, otherwise preferring to explore all of the usual "extended" techniques, plus a few more of their own devising, and to do so with a folksy sort of virtuosity - amiable, agreeably unpretentious and without the patented sheen of the conservatory.

Initially, theirs may seem like a small, narrow world of sound, one further compressed by the dry, unadorned space that Jean Martin, as recording engineer, has left around it. But this is a world that quickly develops its own adjusted scale of small and large, soft and loud - a new dynamic, unique to Freedman and Thomson, that accommodates the dramatic and strident as readily as it does the humourous and the lyrical. (In the matter of humour, note also the interrelated word play in the titles of the CD and its nine tracks. Consult your favourite dictionary as required.) Sometimes the two musicians play together in opposition, sometimes in empathy, sometimes in self-absorption, always in the spirit of discovery and revelation."-Mark Miller, Barnyard Records

"Scott Thomson is a trombonist and composer who lives in Montréal, having moved from Toronto in 2010. He plays in established groups in many styles, and prizes ad hoc improvising as a way to meet many creative people. He has studied with Roswell Rudd, Jean Derome, Eddie Prévost, and John Oswald. Scott is one of the founders of the Association of Improvising Musicians in Toronto (AIMToronto), and co-directs the AIMToronto Orchestra, which was formed for a project with Anthony Braxton in September 2007. While in Toronto, Scott was the artistic director of Somewhere There, a venue for live creative music that he founded in 2007. Scott has composed a series of site-specific pieces that he calls 'cartographic compositions' for mobile musicians and audiences in unconventional performance contexts, including works for the galleries and corridors of the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario."-Bug Incision (

"Lori Freedman. Born Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1958. Residence: Montréal, Québec. Composer, Performer (clarinet, bass clarinet)

Qualified as "a musical revolutionary in the front ranks of the avant-garde" by Alex Varty of the Georgia Straight (Vancouver), Lori Freedman (clarinets) is internationally recognized as one of the most creative and provocative performers. She is a member of a select group known as "renaissance musicians" as her artistic activities cover many fields: performer of written music (well over one hundred works have been written for or premiered by her), composer, improviser, teacher, and on occasion, writer. While managing a full performance schedule of more than 75 public appearances a year, Freedman has been receiving commissions to write music for ensembles such as Orkestra Futura, Arraymusic Ensemble, Ensemble Transmission, Continuum Contemporary Music Ensemble, Ensemble SuperMusique, Ensemble Paramirabo, Upstream Orchestra, Queen Mab Trio, Crowbar Trio, Lott Dance, Oberlander Films, Foresite Theatre, Cooke Productions and Autumn Leaf Productions. Her current discography comprises over 59 recordings, the most recent of which include Greffes (Empreintes digitales), On No (Mode Records), Bridge (Collection QB), Plumb (Barnyard Records), 3 and À un moment donné (Ambiances Magnétiques), Huskless! (Artifact), See Saw and Thin Air (Wig). Highlight collaborations include work with Rohan de Saram, Barre Phillips, Helmut Lachenmann, Frances-Marie Uitti, Monique Jean, Joëlle Léandre, Axel Dörner, George Lewis, the Jack Quartet and Richard Barrett."

-ActuelleCD (

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Musique Actuelle
Ambiances Magnetiques
Toronto Area Improvisation
Duo Recordings

Search for other titles on the Barnyard label.

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Price: $14.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 3.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 777320139627

Label: Barnyard
Catalog ID: BR 0305
Squidco Product Code: 10577

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2008
Country: Canada
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded in Toronto at The Farm, April 9-11, 2007 by Jean Martin, Mastering by John Oswald at MLab.


Scott Thomson-Trombone

Lori Freedman-Bb and Bass Clarinet

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Track Listing:

1. Aplomb 3:43

2. Two Depths 6:08

3. Lead 4:43

4. Leak 11:41

5. To Horn 4:27

6. Two Plums 2:04

7. The Plummet 3:59

8. Out Of 5:30

9. Taps 2:08

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