Paul McCandless


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Paul McCandless is the longtime reed player in the folk-jazz group Oregon, while pianist Art Lande is still probably best-known for his recordings for the ECM label. One can be excused for thinking that their collaboration on Shapeshifter would be a bit sleepy but the opposite is true. Their playing in a quartet with bassist Peter Barshay and drummer Allen Hall displays plenty of energy and constant invention. The music is a bit free in spots but well organized and always coherent and generally melodic. McCandless, who plays five reeds, is heard mostly on soprano, and his interplay with Lande sometimes borders on the telepathic, whether it be on one of the brief introspective pieces or the swinging advanced blues "Pietroglyph." Both McCandless and Lande are heard at their best throughout Shapeshifter, a stimulating set well-worth acquiring.

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