Rob Brown

Blink of an Eye

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Recorded live in 1996, this reunion of Rob Brown and Matthew Shipp, who arrived in New York together in the mid-'80s, is a wealth of dialogue and a stellar example of musical camaraderie. Here is a three-part suite based on the immediacy of the sonic idea as it translates without gimmick or artifice from one mind to the next and back, shifted, stretched, or downright changed as an offering for further dissection and sonorous unction. There are interstitial elements of Brown's knife-edge tone that set particularly well with Shipp's crescendoing left hand, first hovering, then pounding the middle register as Brown reaches for a slot between high and middle. When Brown moves over to the flute, Shipp's left-handed arpeggios dance all around his timbral notions, creating an echo of vibratory nomenclature to enclose one frame of reference while articulating a further one and bringing in the idea of becoming still once more. Everything is full-speed ahead, though there are dynamic breaks and continuances and the unfolding of dramatic tonal architectures that are layered in such textured balance that they create a towering, yet gentle perceived aural structure. Deft, wooly, and elegant, this disc is hot.

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