Blaise Siwula

Tandem Rivers

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Blaise Siwula and Adam Lane share something in common: Each, at the time of this recording, was relatively unknown in the music world despite displaying exemplary skills at festivals and on disc. This unusual recording is a series of fully improvised pieces, with no melody or structure or any other pre-conceived notions. (This was the first fully improvised recording for the bassist.) The results are extraordinarily appealing and surprisingly accessible. There is no egotistical showmanship here. Both of these modest performers go about the process of creation modestly but impressively. The volume tends to be somewhat subdued, but the intensity and fluidity are undiminished. Siwula is equally proficient on soprano and alto saxes, and he exercises marvelous control, able on either instrument to exhale streams of notes like bubbles from a child's blower. Some advanced techniques are used, such as Siwula's extensive slap-tonguing or his Evan Parker-like phrasing on "Tandem Rivers," but much of this recording rests on the shoulders of conventional technique that is pulled and pushed through varying meters, tonalities, and tempos. Taken from a live performance on the Lower East Side of New York City, Tandem Rivers succeeds because of the focused discipline of the duo, each member of whom listens very closely to the other, resulting in a polished and compelling effort.

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