Malachi Favors

2x4

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A recording from the two premier improvising bassists in Chicago yields some incredible music, and not just in a bass duet context. Percussion instruments, whistles and the voice come into play. Native American rhythms, space harmonies and those ever present Windy City blues are elements quite noticable in these spontaneous compositions.

From the deep, midnight blue strums and plucks of Favors to the upper atmospheric sonic arco bowing of Aoki, the music has a life of it's own, echoing street sounds, clattering urban landscapes, the serenity of the ocean, and oriental folk themes. The booming basses dig in to an ostinato blues on "On-Do, Ondo," with an irreverant strut. The percussion driven rickshaw rhythms of "Reuinon" and the bongo featured on "Introduction" are not so much anomalies as a different taste. Some of the music has a restless pacing even though it swings hard as on "The Keeper," and there's the clipped, soulful "Chop Stick Blues" which is just as the title suggests. Some of the music is completely free as "A Long Time Ago," or "Call Of The Dogon," but form follows function, the two listen intently to each others notions, Though these bassists are quite different in approach and concept, they work well in bringing their adept musicianship to the surface, coming together on many natural and spiritual levels.

When Favors is not working with the Art Ensemble Of Chicago, it's great to have him working on projects as substantive as this one. With Aoki, you usually hear him in a variety of solo and ensemble settings, so to match him with Favors was a masterstroke. If you like improvised music with no boundaries and the sonic possibilities the upright bass can conjure, this is going to please you, the challenged listener.

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