Didier Petit

NOHC on the Road

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For two strings and two reeds, you cannot get more powerful than this. From the opening piece, "The Progressive Slide Into Pleasure," Michael Nick's violin and Didier Petit's cello shoot forth intense spirals of overwhelming emotion. Disturbing and unsettling -- not unlike being trapped in a falling elevator and not knowing whether you will survive -- the strings pound enough nitro into their punches to wake up even the sleepiest. Curiously, it is Daunik Lazro's alto and bari saxes and Denis Colin's bass clarinet that bring things back to earth, though in ways that turn conventional harmonies inside out. The recording is divided into three suites of three or four pieces, the tracks recorded in six different cities. There are scratches and sublime beauty, and there is a confluence of varied improvisational approaches. Music that surprises, whether it is fast or slow, ear shattering or gentle. There is no melody, of course, but there is a curious loveliness that permeates.

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