Carlos Bechegas

Open Secrets: A Suite in 13 Parts

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On his 1998 solo CD Flute Landscapes, Carlos Bechegas was applying extended techniques developed by free improvisers like Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, and bassist Peter Kowald. In the case of the last artist, it led to a fruitful relationship, as Open Secrets testifies. Recorded in a Portuguese studio in October 1999, this CD demonstrates how like minded the two musicians are. Their level of communication is exemplary. Bechegas integrates his voice in his flute playing, something that has become a trademark for Kowald, especially when using the bow. Therefore some of these duets sound like quartets; "Part 10," featuring the bassist's scary basso profondo, is simply stunning. At the beginning of "Part 7," it is the bassist who mimics the flutist, playing the high register. The 13 free improvisations are kept short (nothing over eight minutes), dense, and electrified. In "Part 3," Bechegas' flute jumps all around, unstoppable, while Kowald tries to keep up, obviously amused. The flute's flutter-like exuberance completes the bassist's more introverted playing to a surprising extent -- they were born to play together. Some free improv records are inhabited by a magical atmosphere. Open Secrets is one of them. All the promises found in Flute Landscapes have been kept. This is the first release on Bechegas' imprint Forward, and his first recording with a renowned improvisor. Strongly recommended.

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