Keith Tippett: piano; Giovanni Maier: double bass
Sometimes one associates improvisation with a succession of facial expressions, imagining the involved musicians bent upon themselves as the interior flowing of their originative cerebration is turned into momentous (or less) sonorities. This picture didn’t materialize while tackling Two For Joyce, for the perceptual experience conveyed by Tippett and Maier’s polymorphic talking was rather permeated by (de)composed stringency often lightened up by a reassuring smile, the emergent sight of an opening towards a wholly different itinerary across a superior scheme of things. Following the numerous inclinations suggested by the interaction is not as backbreaking as certain illiterate reviews on the web would like someone to think; apparently, applicant critics haven’t yet realized that recapitulating an artist’s history for three quarters of a writeup before synthesizing a work with a pill or two of asinine misconceptions won’t do any favor to the dissemination of earnest creation in lieu of the waste products we’re unceasingly bombed with.
This performance comprises expeditions through contrasting fields of action inside a nimbus of interactive cognition; a place where we do not care anymore about “that” passage or “that” citation, a continuum defined by advanced technical level and ability to embrace and engross listeners. Does anyone really need me to remind of Tippett’s refinedly extrusive pianism, uncompromising idealism, nonverbal freethinking? Maier – whose skill I hadn’t been lucky to run into prior this release – is an excellent partner for the English maestro, interacting with consciousness and, if you will, braveness to the countless acoustic propositions. If the optimal result in terms of enlivening sonorousness is achieved by playing this live set quite loud – those thick strings do count in the equation – it’s only via headphones that the tiniest details are captured amidst the contrapuntal wealth, such as a music box emitting – almost imperceptibly – The Godfather‘s theme at one point; or the instances during which the instruments rustle and mutter between the actual notes. Similarly to an exquisitely scented tea, this profound album needs the peak of an audience’s constructive disposition to be correctly tasted and assessed.