Given a relative equality of instrumental expertise, what distinguishes a serious improviser from the mass is the ability to convey a compound of individual sensitivity and life experience. Conversations Vol.1 offers this, and much more. This collection of duets for piano and sax adequately articulates the profundity of the participants, at the same time allowing a responsive audience to unconsciously fluctuate across the consistency of the values at stake and the inherently logical evolution of spontaneous contrapuntal transitions.
Notwithstanding the immediacy of the recording, Gauci and Cooper-Moore’s spiritual union in the expressive act is clearly perceived, both in the case of remarkable junctions and overlaps and in the middle of more fluid atmospheres defined by a somewhat quieter temperament. A study on the juxtaposition of insistent clustery cells from the piano and restless reed melody – “Improvisation Four” – is particularly gripping. The maximum degree of pregnant sweetness, so to speak, is instead reached in the final “Improvisation Six”, almost a blues ballad if you will. The whole record is characterized by generous portions of refined interplay, though, therefore mentioning single tracks appears as a sterile exercise.
The question must however shift from an exquisitely technical level to the sphere of “breathing” within the respective phrasings. There is in fact no need, for the couple, to over-complicate things: even in apparently discordant sections, a sense of spaciousness prevails. As the pair avoid to obey to any traditional concept of “structure”, simply letting the music flow through their mirrored totality, the addressee treasures every small cell of wisdom diffused by those fleeting intuitions.