Water Settings, a CD by Match, the percussion duo featuring Daryl Pratt and Alison Eddington, includes new percussion music by four Australian composers. The selections are stylistically diverse, but all are bright, colorful, and appealingly upbeat. The most broadly represented composer is Pratt himself, with three works, including the 20-minute suite that gives the album its title. His music is notable for his sensitivity to tonal colors. The arsenal of implements he uses for striking or stroking the instruments produces an even broader array of sounds than a traditional percussion ensemble. The three movements of Water Settings are especially attractive -- skillfully structured, rhythmically and harmonically inventive, and evocative of the watery landscapes that inspired the composer. The two movements from his Dance Suite and Michael Smetanin's Finger Funk are shimmering, jazzy riffs on popular dance forms that manage never to sound merely derivative. Also outstanding is Pratt's arrangement of Djilile, one of Peter Sculthorpe's most popular piano pieces, which is a lyrically memorable and deceptively simple exploration of an indigenous Australian melody. The duo performs the demanding repertoire with precision and style. Tall Poppies' sound is clean, with just enough resonance.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins
|Water Settings, for 2 percussionists|