LOL COXHILL & MICHEL DONEDA – Sitting On Your Stairs


Lol Coxhill, Michel Doneda: soprano saxophones

The title and the cover photo convey an unceremonious feel, two friends in casual conversation during a stay in the same house for a summer holiday. But we all know that what’s born as mere chit-chat can ascend to higher levels at the flick of a switch, and there’s no question about the fact that both Lol Coxhill and Michel Doneda – here recorded in a performance in 2011 at Les Instants Chavirés, the last French concert by the English reedist before his birth into eternity – perfectly represent the kind of artist who doesn’t need a tagged linguistic context to explicit the ravishing impartiality of technically grounded improvisation delivered from formulas. The six tracks – four duets and a pair of solos – express, with infinite clearness, how wonderful the immunity from strict rules can be: microtonal fluttering, hints to fluent melodies that vanish five seconds after they’ve begun, tiny incidents inside the tubes, a loquacity that might sound as the antechamber of nervousness but turns instead into joyful developments of previously uncharted acoustic trails. And – above all – the sinlessness of the timbres, allowing the enjoyment of complexly interlaced lines causing an uncorrupted impulse of gladness, similar to what’s felt while contemplating the frothing waters of a mountain brook. A never-tiresome record with intriguing sub-figures and often humorous excogitations, revealing additional layers of creative intuition and concatenations of brilliant phrases with each new listen. Think of it as an open-air lesson, the subject being “blank out categorizations and live happier”.

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