Ron Miles


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On these stark and stunning duets, Miles and Frisell display complete rapport with respect to manipulating silences and minimal resources. There's an arid quality in their approach, which turns each title into an audio approximation of a desert mirage, shimmering yet still in heavy, timeless heat. Each song gets plenty of breathing room; none is bent too far into abstract contortions. Most of the time each musician plays with fidelity to the written tune; where they stretch out, as on "Wee See," Frisell in particular shows an ability to create a groove through implied rather than articulated rhythm and to adopt dissonant phrasing to a spacious, intriguing treatment. Only "You're Cheatin' Heart" doesn't work; the melody just doesn't hold up when delivered rubato rather than nailed to a boot-scoot beat. But there's credit in the attempt alone, as there are in the many successes that populate Heaven.

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