Michael Bisio

MBEK

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

The meeting between violinist Eyvind Kang and bassist Michael Bisio that gave birth to MBEK took place at Flora Avenue Studios on November 11, 1998. There is a palpable feeling of communion between the two players emanating from this session. You know, one of those musical encounters that move the listener, one in which one can almost touch Art (with a capital A, please). The lyrical, almost romantic playing of Eyvind Kang has a lot to do with this atmosphere. His warm sound with many long strokes of the bow and sometimes plaintive notes are --sadly -- an exception in violinists of free jazz allegiance. "Seraphic Light" (a rendition of a John Coltrane piece) and the second take of "Cardinal Waters" both testify of Kang's sensitivity. His approach is close to another lyrical violinist: Mat Maneri (minus the latter's interests in microtonalities).

The character of Bisio's contrabass completes the violin. Bisio is also from the lyrical end of the spectrum. He favors the bow and his sound is not unlike Dominic Duval's. Violin and bass converse with each other in a very enjoyable way throughout the eight semi-written numbers found on this disc. Some more traditional elements can be found here and there, like a strongly bluesy line in "The Biszer."

MBEK delivers one very good free jazz meeting. This is a strongly recommendable album, particularly for those not drawn to feverish (Peter Brötzmann-like) or dry and abstract (à la London school) free jazz.

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