Bruno Spoerri

Controlled Risk

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Here is an avant duet record that sounds as if an entire orchestra of percussion instruments and saxophones and God knows what else were having the time of their lives. Saxophonist, sampler whiz, and synth noodler Bruno Spoeri and vocalist/ percussionist Reno Weber pull out the drain stopper on this orgiastic pleasure ride through the wilds of improvisation and soundscape construction. Recorded live to two-track over two days in Switzerland in 1988, this pair seems to understand something fundamental about improvisation: it is in listening to the idea and following it all the way down the path that music, at least collaborative music, happens. A fine example is the opening track, "Love Power/For Papa." A rhythmic assault begins from the opening measure, with two, three, and four drums layered, creating a gorgeous train for Spoeri to jump on with his saxophones and his samplers bubbling in delays, atmospherics, and who knows what, but inside the rhythm the saxophone creates a series of melodic moves, gradually taking them outside to the breaking point, whereby Weber responds and the piece traverses entire sonic worlds. This is also true with "Berimbau Electrico," where a sample of the Brazilian strings percussion instrument and the real thing are intertwined with other percussion in a call-and-response rhythm, which creates a huge space for riffing, which happens, and lyrical interplay, which also does, all of it improvised. This is a wonderfully accessible improv record that uses world music, free jazz, and even rock riffs to get its discoveries across.

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