An improvising duo of saxophones and percussion will invariably result in a serious case of transitory taedium vitae if the partakers elect to indulge in cheap tricks, yawny scalar tirades and pointless clatter. The danger is removed when musicians defined by wise adroitness and inherent acuity – both shared in large quantities by Keune and Lovens – are involved. These recordings certainly don’t reside in the “easy listening” neighborhood. Rather, they validate the feasibility of clever talkativeness, fluctuating dynamics and alternative phraseologies in a systematic brawl against stereotypes. Without clowning, for good measure.
Comparable criteria are more or less implemented throughout the program. Keune’s reeds explicit a hypothetically “linear” content through a succession of in-your-face aphoristic outbursts, chains of unceremonious sentences and explorations of quieter routes. Lovens’ properties are based on his utter control of the percussive arsenal at any instant. In spite of frequent breakneck speeds, there’s always room for the ear to capture delicious metallic minutiae and veritable melodic spurts born from the varying tensions of the drum skins. In such an elaborate instantaneousness no time is left for nostalgia or second thoughts. The players feed their own creations by truly living in the moment, a portrait of fierce concentration interspersed with relatively quiescent passages. Ways exist for expressing opinions earnestly, but without sounding bellicose towards our interlocutors. Keune and Lovens personify this rare type of admirable behavior.