John Bisset

Chapel/Kapell

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This is a beautiful duo set by British guitarist John Bisset and German drummer Burkhard Beins, released on Bisset's label 2:13 Music. Recorded in an old chapel in Wietze-Wieckenberg (Germany), this short set (37 minutes) showcases two complementary improvisers. Chapel/Kapell is stronger than the guitarist's previous duo release with Rhodri Davies, Malthouse/Odyn Galch (1999). Here the sound palette is wider, the playing more captivating. Bisset often steps back to leave Beins' percussive doodlings more room. The drummer's approach is reminiscent of Roger Turner (lots of scrap metal) but also of Raymond Strid (the abundant use of bowed cymbals). Bisset plays delicate but jagged guitar lines, alternating between carefully chosen notes and wild runs on his prepared instrument -- all acoustic. The two of them fill the room with ethereal music that sure is abstract and can even sound cerebral if one listens distractedly. But attentive listening reveals all the beauty hidden in an improv like "Glocks/Prozession." Except for the aforementioned piece, 12 minutes long, the tracks are short: Bisset aims only at the best moments of the session. Chapel/Kapell contains nice surprises and is more proof of the guitarist's adaptability. Just go ahead and try to figure out what is percussion and what is guitar on "Thäne" and "Wind." Recommended.

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