Jack Wright and Bob Falesch are perfect partners: each is little known to the general public, extremely talented, and underappreciated. At the time of this release (2001), one might predict (or at least hope) that it is simply a matter of time before they burst forth to greater recognition. Recorded for Falesch's ZeroEggzie label, Clang is a splendid example of the freestyle sax/piano duo, the sort of British-style meeting in which experienced and technically advanced players listen carefully to each other and harness considerable resources to produce something of lasting value. The saxophonist jabs, darts, and spurts, favoring short phrases that never repeat themselves, while his pianist colleague harnesses incredible resources in support. This is not throat-slashing fare, for although there is often a severe intensity, the volume does not reach deafening levels, nor is there any emphasis on virtuosic acrobatics. Rather, the players collaborate to achieve musical results of considerable depth. Wright's energetic bursts may remind listeners of Evan Parker, but the comparison is cursory, as Wright does not mobilize Parker's specific extended techniques, but rather incorporates his own strategies. Falesch, too, is an original stylist who incorporates the postmodern vocabulary of free improvisation, but stamps it with his individual personality. "A Quarter-Tone Past the Outstretched Muscle," in which two pianos are tuned a quarter tone apart, is a surprising highlight, as Wright lays down his reeds and proves himself a more than competent keyboardist. Not to be overlooked, Clang is a rewarding excursion that features two major talents in prime form.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Steve Loewy