Chris Corsano / Paul Dunmall

Identical Sunsets

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This encounter between U.K. multi-reedist Paul Dunmall and U.S.-based drummer/percussionist Chris Corsano is a unique meeting of two men who are legends within their own spheres. The opening title track features Dunmall alone, wailing on the border pipes (aka bagpipes) for five minutes as a sort of incantation, the piercing tones clearing the listener's head better than any antihistamine. The second piece, "Living Proof," is a 17-minute duo for drums and tenor saxophone, each man battling with himself, his partner, and the ghosts of John Coltrane and Rashied Ali, whose Interstellar Space paved the road all future sax-drums duos must walk. Corsano's approach to the drum kit encompasses much more than rhythm, though; he bows his cymbals and creates other groaning, whooshing effects that have nothing to do with time, as Dunmall drops his own volume; the effect is dynamic, as the pair go from loud to quiet and back again on a moment's notice, but always in an organic fashion. Corsano opens the 14-minute "Better Get Another Lighthouse" with a drum solo that's high-energy without ever being assaultive; when Dunmall joins him just past the three-minute mark, the levels spike still further, and the sole quiet passage is only about a minute long -- this is a fierce, exhaustive workout. The disc's final track, "Out of Sight," begins very quietly -- so quietly, in fact, that the sound of the audience becomes distracting on headphones. Even a series of high-pitched screeches from Dunmall, like a gym coach blowing his whistle to attract students' attention, doesn't kill the chit-chat. But soon enough, he and Corsano kick up a firestorm that brings everyone's attention back to where it ought to be -- on the music.

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