JOE MANERI / MASASHI HARADA – Pinerskol

Leo

This record is the physical authentication of an open-minded meeting between a master and his pupil, though Masashi Harada (piano, flute, voice) prefers to describe the late Joe Maneri (tenor and alto saxes, clarinet, voice) as a father-like figure with whom he shared a great number of artistic discoveries over the course of a “turbulent” relationship. These improvisations – recorded in 2003 – sound as dispossessed of tricks and licks as a lover of pure musicianship can hope to find, occasionally evoking ritual moods, often appearing as the extemporary embodiment of a wonderfully precarious sonic intensity. While trying to make their different approaches work in a sonically significant way, Maneri and Harada don’t forget that at the basis of a honest fight – albeit technically advanced – there is mutual esteem, namely the most perceptible trait of this unclassifiable album. Equally impressive is the ability of both performers to deliver themselves from any kind of limitation – be it stylistic, or merely a norm of “polite behaviour” – to reach for that nucleus of truth that constitute the actual pulse of any serious instrumentalist. The primal vocal expression of the title track is an example, but it’s just one of the many fascinating facets of a work that gets nourishment from its dynamic and melodic unevenness, in turn highlighting the duo’s facility in transcending probability and create music which is courageous, uncontrived and yet, at the same time, conceptually remarkable. Had an instrument been given to every unadulterated soul to express troubles and fears instead of religions, spurious spiritual principles and money-laundering political ideologies, today’s harsh reality would probably be more endurable.

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