Agustí Fernández / Joe Morris


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This collection of six duets with pianist Agustí Fernández showcases a softer side of guitarist Joe Morris -- most of the time. The pieces are acoustic, and entirely improvised, and while some of them move through multiple stages, at times seeming like several pieces played in sequence rather than one cohesive musical thought, others are entirely self-contained. "Ambrosia 4," for example, is more of a noise exercise than a guitar-piano duo; Fernández sounds like he's sawing the instrument apart, or running over it with a steamroller, while Morris sounds like he's playing the guitar with a bow at certain points. On other tracks, much more conventional ideas of beauty come to the fore; Morris opts for a style somewhere between Django Reinhardt and Derek Bailey, while Fernández plays forcefully but with great discipline and beauty. This is very intense, focused music that sounds like it took a lot out of the players -- they can be heard listening at all times, even as they seem to be talking past each other, determined to make a particular point before addressing the other person's ideas. When they work in perfect counterpoint, as on the pointillistic "Ambrosia 5," for example, the results are breathtaking.

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