A B D integrates tracks from two previous HatART releases involving the same trio: Azurety and Cheer Up. This does not alter the exquisiteness of the repackaged acoustic product, fully justifying Han Bennink’s derisive comments on certain fashionably quiet EAI. In fact, there’s such an amount of technically gifted brio in this music – dressed with extemporaneous wisdom, clever irony and evident far-sightedness – that the mere act of listening becomes tantamount to attending a clinic about the employment of non-compliant persuasiveness in a multi-faceted interconnection.
Paraphrasing a title from an inexcusably overhyped rock-blues guitarist, there’s (almost) one for every crowd in this disc. Improvisation – of course – prevails; confusion is nowhere to be seen. Themes are often a feigning to introduce disrupting instrumental extensions and snappish determination. A special kind of clownish imaginativeness permeates the atmosphere, perfectly symbolized by Anderson’s trombone-fuelled malleability (he’s at ease with practically everything) and Bennink’s far-famed explosiveness (however, just in case, listen to the subtleties of his work with the brushes, and the way in which he shifts accents over regular metres – superb stuff). On his side, Doran plays with a Jekyll-and-Hyde attitude throughout: one moment applying diligent comping and erudite clean figurations, a minute later eliciting growling danger or breathtaking looping views. The duet with Bennink – “B & D” – literally emits flames and smoke.
When one can still say something around the lines of “I listened to that CD with enormous pleasure”, delivered from necessities of compartmentalization and explanation, it’s always a good sign. With A B D, this happens immediately after the end of the first spin, and a series of returns is all but warranted.