Friday, May 29, 2020

Abbey Rader and John McMinn - Duo from the Heart (Abray Records, 2020)

This is an exciting and bracing fully improvised jazz album with the duo of Abbey Rader on drums and percussion and John McMinn on tenor saxophone and piano, which was recorded at McMinn’s home studio in Miami in November of 2019. "Late Opening" is a torrid performance for drums and piano moving together like a force of nature throughout the improvisation, with crashing drums and cymbals meeting elemental piano that weaves dynamically into a brief reprieve of abstract cooperation. McMinn moves to saxophone for "Deep Seeing" setting a strong and vibrant tone, meeting Rader to gradually scout the territory, as the sound fills in and develops a strong spiritual jazz feeling, with withering saxophone lines and powerful percussive accompaniment. "Skimming Over and Forgiving" returns to the piano and drums format, strumming inside the instrument to provide some Alice Coltrane like harp sounds in the beginning. The music stretches out gracefully, free and untethered with the mixture of inside and out piano giving the music a unique sound. "Freedom with Roots" returns to the saxophone for a fast and free dialogue that is brimming with texture and color. Both musicians dive deeply beneath the waves of sound to create a challenging and intriguing dialogue, making way for a powerful and impressive drum solo before ratcheting back up for the conclusion. Staying with the saxophone, "Prayers at the Wall" keeps the intensity high with long rolling drum patterns and keening saxophone. Both players are deeply locked in with one another developing a rhythmic sense and conception of time and space that keeps the music free yet well controlled. This was an excellent album of spontaneous jazz, between two musicians who clearly have a deep bond with each other as friends and kindred musical spirits. Duo From the Heart - Bandcamp

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