Different Times

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Frode Gjerstad – Clarinets
Nick Stephens – Double Bass

1. September 5:38
2. And The Days Grow Short 5:13
3. Skirting The Lake 4:00
4. Redwing 9:57
5. Everything Must Change 7:09
6. Nothing Stays The Same 11:47
7. 107 Miles 7:11
8. Well Since My Baby Left Me 3:47

Artwork and Photography Fay Stephens

Loose Torque LT022 Category

“Gjerstad’s clarinet phrases are mostly short, almost like dots on a canvas, or like bird calls, full of abstract frenzy and wild commotion, yet combining this with the natural lyricism we know him from. Nick Stephens’ bass sound as it should sound, deep, warm, with every string plucked releasing notes that are enveloped in a woolen warmth. The calm delivery, the love of timbre and single notes, the cautious touching of sounds, it is all here, as you hope to expect from a duo performance. Stephens picks up his bow at various moments, but the magic comes with the last track, when suddenly notes are lengthened, both on bass and on clarinet.” Stef – Free Jazz See full review at http://freejazz-stef.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Clarinet-bass%20duo

“While some of the titles might suggest lyricism, any melodies are of the most offhand kind, brief allusions surfacing during a stream of highly abstracted but focused give and take. Even though recorded over a two-year period, there is no discernible difference in the commitment to a totally improvised approach, using whatever tools and techniques they need to make the exchange work. Not only do they transcend the conventional range of their instruments, but also their traditional roles in a display of mercurial interplay and shifting moods. In a meeting of minds, both men demonstrate a keen appreciation of light and shade – they know when to affirm and when to counter.

Stephens is spiky, energetic and springy, inventive with the bow, veering from the abrasive to the querulous and even the percussive while on clarinets, Gjerstad essays a cascade of barking fragments, his dog-bothering whistle register used sparingly. Though on occasion breathily diaphanous, at the other extreme he deploys split tones and a vocalized edge, most notably on “Everything Must Change” ” John Sharpe – NYCJazz Record
See full review at: http://nycjazzrecord.com/issues/tnycjr201212.pdf