CAFE GRAND ABYSS
Of all the many wonders of free improvisation, perhaps the most extraordinary is the way the music places itself beyond the confines of time. This happens both in the moment of creation, and, if recorded, on playback. Transient time, as we know it, ceases to exist, to be replaced by an infinite series of instants of “now”, and this immediacy gifts the music its remarkable sense of eternally lying outside idiom or convention. It could have been made 50 years ago, yesterday or deep into an opaque future. But for this suspension of chronological time to occur, the music must have the throat-gripping intensity that it does here.
Alvin Curran (piano, sampler) and Jon Rose (violins and assorted other bowed devices) seem to expand your mind and ears as they stretch musical possibilities beyond their accepted elasticity. Where most artists of any sort work within defined aesthetic palettes, Rose and Curran keep re-contextualizing each other’s sounds, so “beauty” is subverted and subversion is sanctified. My own levels of surprise, alarm, amusement, enchantment and exhilaration actually increased with successive listenings. Factor recovery time into your schedule.