Chicago drummer Mike Reed and AACM legendary saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell reunite for two masterful extended improv pieces, recorded live at Constellation in Chicago in 2013.
Mitchell, Roscoe / Mike Reed
In Pursuit of Magic
Label: 482 Music
Released in: USA
"A meeting of an avant-guard legend and a few decades younger disciple, one of the most active animators of the modern jazz scene in Chicago- ain't that a definitive prove of art's continuity? Roscoe Mitchell and Mike Reed, that duo not so long ago mesmerized the audience, my fortunate self included, during the Made in Chicago festival in Poznan. Together, they created a world of sculpted sounds, in constant "pursuit of magic", a successful pursuit I'd like to add as I believe the concert to be THE concert of 2013.
There's linear cohesiveness to Mitchell's playing and uniqueness to his sound - carefully crafted, intrinsically structural, in constant movement and in continuos evolvement. He creates myriad of notes, with just slight modifications rephrases the line, analyzes its every possible form and angle. A sort of musical laboratory, with attention to every possibile detail. Not experimental - because that would mean the result is left to chance. Instead it's strictly methodical, showing a profound knowledge of the instrument and it's many possibilites. His playing, ever enigmatic, is surreal and pure in its abstract logic.
Mitchell's playing might seem overwhelming, overabundant in abstract ideas. It's Reed's drumming to provide a more real, "down to earth", emotional backbone - his drums seem to have life on it's own - colorful, vivid, pulsating. His playing surrounds the saxophones with a living and breathing, polyrhythmic environment. Of particular beauty is his melodic use of the metal tongue drum, with the touch mic attached to it, the instrument develops an electro-acoustic transcendental sound.
The CD features two long improvisations "Constellations Over Denmark" and "Light Can Bend" both recorded on the concert in April 2013 at Constellation in Chicago. "Constellations" moves from the hypnotic research of hushed sounds, breathing and resonance (the particular drums frequency mimics the wind's shriek) to a full-tempo galopade with the tenor twisting the musical line, followed closely by a fast pace drums pulse.
"Light Can Bend" begins with a the lyrical, and soulful tenor tone, gently weaving the spare melody, encircled by light percussion thrill. Around 10 minutes into the piece, the playing becomes more intense, the interval jumps more sudden, the sounds sharper. And so they go fearless into the labyrinth, with Mitchell's tenor and Reed's drumming circling around each other in a continuos spiral flow for a long while. Quite frankly a bit of a hypnotic mind-blow. Mitchell's solo coda and melodic closure brings us back to the reality.
The pursuit of Magic never stops as the magic lives only in the moment, in the act itself. Fortunately such act can be recorded, and (the echo of) the experience re-lived. The recording catches two masterful magicians in the act, so don't try to learn the trick, just follow them as they show you the amazing new worlds and all its wonders. A definitive recommendation."-Jazz Alchemist
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Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
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Label: 482 Music
Catalog ID: 4821088cd
Squidco Product Code: 19437
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded live at Constellation, in Chicago, Illinois, on April 19, 2013 by Todd Carter.
Mike Reed-drums, percussion
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1. Constellations Over Denmark 21:03
2. Light Can Bend 25:26