Sometimes this writer’s nescience generates marginal injustices. This happened with Peal, the duo formed by a double bassist – Paul Rogers – whose capabilities I know rather well and highly respect, and a drummer I never had the pleasure of meeting before this CD, Emil Gross from Austria. Needless to say, the latter’s percussive eloquence is now classified as a promising revelation for yours truly. The couple goes straight to the point without the necessity of, er, screaming.
We owe the chance of savoring this collection of exquisite interactions to Setola di Maiale’s honcho Stefano Giust, his resoluteness in publishing the material representing a decisive factor. Not only A Bag Of Screams captures the creative essence of improvisers at the top of their game; it substantially conveys the all-encompassing vibration produced by the instruments. Rogers’ 7-string bass punches, growls, squeals or enthrals depending on circumstance, its puissance enough to cause my headphones to quake on occasion. The different components of Gross’ drum set constitute the sources of a multitude of contrapuntal nuances; the abundance of dynamic shifts, imploded rhythms and timbral attributes specifies a pronounced connotation for each of the nine tracks.
A balanced mix of idiosyncrasy and robustness is the ultimate ear stimulant. We obviously perceive the mere acoustic outcome, but also the spirited prominence of every gesture occurred during the session. Either by controlling an increasing loudness, or through subtle exchanges bathed in wailing upper partials and barely practicable metres, Peal manage to sound like a bigger free jazz ensemble. Of the kind that lets you asking for more on a genuinely physical level.