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John Edwards & Chris Corsano, "Tsktsking"

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cover imageThis collaboration between the English double bassist and one of my favorite drummers is superb. While Corsano rarely disappoints, when he is matched by a player who is equally as inventive and fluid then things heat up nicely. Edwards puts his immense experience to full use during this album, the two players sparking off each other to create music with enormous clout. Tsktsking is repeatedly brilliant, all four pieces showing that these two musicians are at the top of their respective games.


Dancing Wayang

“Razed Then Raised Again” begins like a storm in the distance; a rumbling power looming over the horizon. After a few minutes, the storm finally hits and Corsano’s beautiful and erratic drumming feels like hailstones being blown around. Edwards’ bass is the gale, forcing the drums around corners and down side streets; this is truly elemental music. By the end of the piece, it actually sounds like the duo are trying to push their way into the microphones and out of my speakers to bring this music directly to me. The title track continues this commanding style of performance and the duo sound like Albert Ayler’s backing band at their most free (throughout this piece I can imagine the ghost of Ayler jamming along, unheard but his presence felt).

The second side of the LP has Edwards and Corsano shift the focus of their music completely. The slow burning “The Master without Hammer” carries a threatening undertone to it. Eventually avalanching into a freefalling and dangerous tumult of percussion and double bass, “The Master without Hammer” is the monster at the heart of Tsktsking, it is absolutely stunning. Amazingly, Edwards and Corsano have not peaked yet and save the best for last with the thrilling, cathartic voyage through the rhythm section that is “To the Nines.” Again, they summon up the spirits of free jazz past and set out to exorcise and exercise them, running at breakneck speeds across their respective instruments.

As usual for Dancing Wayang, Tsktsking is beautifully packaged in a screenprinted sleeve that looks like it came from some classic '60s jazz label’s design studio. Also included are a set of liner notes by Evan Parker where he gives an entertaining account of how these two guys met. Taken altogether, this is a terrific album lovingly presented in a way that reflects the quality of the music found between the grooves. I cannot get enough of Tsktsking, both Edwards and Corsano show that improvisation is as potent as ever in its power to pull new and exciting music from the ether.

This release is currently vinyl only so unfortunately no sound samples at this point in time, apologies!

Last Updated on Sunday, 15 November 2009 14:19  


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