RON CAINES / GUS GARSIDE – Tilt

Tilt

I had met double bassist Garside as a member of ARC, a trio with Sylvia Hallett and Danny Kingshill, while – quite incredibly given the lengthy career – this is most probably my very first time with saxophonist Caines, whose involvement in the scene of jazz and improvisation dates since the late 60s (he participated, among other events, in the 1969 edition of the Actuel Festival where also Zappa, Beefheart, AACM and Soft Machine were performing). Tilt is a compilation of duos and solos, its unperturbed mood suggesting home recording even if that’s not specified. In any case this is “warm” music in the right sense, perfect for waking up the nicest spirits inhabiting your house early in the morning. Nevertheless, it’s not an “easy” record: Caines’ concepts of “presence” and “expressiveness” – upon which his artistic vision is based – are explicated through earnest lyricism and sugar-free technical facility revealing a strenuous observation of the rules of soulfulness, every pitch resulting from a series of variables which the reedist seems to have complete control of. On his side, Garside is less loquacious, almost overly modest at times: the instrument mixed pretty low, the accompaniment cleverly courteous to the partner, the tone a silent stroke in the background. His quest for timbral connotation is best expressed in a piece like “Haiku”, in which the amalgamation of arcoed harmonics and growling authority reaches the ultimate point of balance. The record’s resonance – both in the room and yourselves – is richer when enjoyed via speakers.

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