Veryan Weston

Five Shadows

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The idea behind Five Shadows is interesting in itself. Veryan Weston (piano) and Caroline Kraabel (alto saxophone, voice) performed as a duo three times in December 1999 and twice in May 2000. This album presents one improvisation from each show, in chronological order. Weston is well-known in avant-garde circles for his work with Phil Minton and with numerous luminaries of the British free improv scene. Caroline Kraabel's fame has yet to go beyond England. Her alto saxophone playing lacks a bit of character; it's nice, but doesn't come through as really original. The five improvisations they perform together set up engaging moods and captivate the ear, but once again they are not striking. One finds good complicity in "Liverpool" and a piece of heaven in "Cheltenham," but the opening seconds of "Colchester" are ruined by Kraabel's rude intrusion. "Walthamstow" is also weaker. Let's just say that Weston's discography contains better albums than Five Shadows, even though it has its charm.

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