The best Bergman duet I've heard.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although Borah Bergman is said to be the next Cecil Taylor, his general approach to free jazz owes more to Albert Ayler. Rather than emphasizing technique, Bergman's work is often based around simple melodies. His playing can be frenetic, but it's never excessively hyperactive like far too many free jazz pianists. All the improvisation in Bergman's songs is strategic, if unpredictable. Evan Parker is the most intuitive sax player Bergman has played with. Parker never steps on Bergman's toes(like Brotzmann does). Because Parker is a great listener, he and Bergman often compliment each other rhythmically. Parker frequently opts for minimalist rhythms in order to provide Bergman with the appropriate foil for his more abrupt solos. Both musicians' attention to rhythm, in general, is reminiscient of the Ayler/Milford Graves performance on "Love Cry" and an absolute rarity in modern free jazz."
A musical independent
N. Dorward | Toronto, ON Canada | 07/24/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Borah Bergman's reputation is as a free-jazz pianist with an especially individual, not to say obsessive, approach to the music. He spent years working on hand-independence, & his recordings often give the impression of contrary masses of sound occurring at opposite ends of the keyboard. (On at least one recording--the early LP _Discovery!_ on Chiaroscuro--he adds a "third hand" in the form of his leg.) Cecil Taylor comparisons aren't really apt: where Taylor is mercurial & rhapsodic, Bergman's music is more fragmentary & discontinuous, and not really based on thematic material except for the most elementary repetitions.I can admire the man's dedication to his vision, while finding his recordings hard to warm to. This disc is more approachable than the drably-recorded solo disc _A New Frontier_ on the same label, but its satisfactions mostly, for me, lie in the contributions of Evan Parker, who is one of the most logical & empathetic of musicians. A music-critic friend of mine once said bluntly that he thought Bergman really didn't have much control over what he was _doing_ with his independent hands, & that it was Parker's genius on this recording to make musical sense of Bergman's gestures. I'm not quite sure I'd go along with him, but I can see what he means.It's not an easy hour of music--a comment that will recommend it to many. But I don't ultimately think this disc is that rewarding. As with Matthew Shipp, there's a sometimes grim doggedness here which is impressive without making me a huge convert."