DONAT FISCH / CHRISTIAN WOLFARTH – Circle & Line 2

Leo

While I’m discreetly au fait with the work of percussionist Christian Wolfarth (we’re soon returning on the theme – stay tuned) this is the very first time in which alto and tenor saxophonist Fisch is met by these ears. If the liners were appropriately decoded this is their second CD, published in 2009 after a release a decade prior. Nine duets exclusively composed by the reedist, duration between just over three minutes to the almost ten of the final “Elva”. The latter and “Merlodie” are the lone tracks that feature Wolfarth’s renowned drone ‘n’ buzz floating in EAI waters: textures that in all probability are obtained through the use of a bow, upon which Fisch’s facility in individuating phrases and sketches of melody manages to harmonize the propensity to stasis. But the common rule herein is more about parallel movement and entwined gestures. The musicians develop the concepts while discarding self-glorification or magniloquence, intent in suggesting concepts with noticeable reciprocal consideration. Not necessarily heterodox, the junction of personalities is in any case engaging because of a fundamental diversity that does not entail boisterousness. On the contrary, some of these combinations show how compulsive rhythms, reshuffled fragments of regular beats and well-designed melodic meanderings can easily breathe together (“Für Christian”, “Desmond”) without affecting the listener’s endurance. At the end of the day, this is a polite album; not exactly groundbreaking or particularly thrilling, light-hearted as much as you may need it to be, surely not a dud.

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