Title - Socially Distanced Duos
Artist - Pearring Sound
For those unaware, 2020 was an extremely difficult year for all musicians, but some took advantage of the extreme limitations to express themselves in unique ways.
Alto-saxophonist Jeff Pearring, who under the group name Pearring Sound normally leads units ranging from trios to a quintet, wanted to interact with other inventive musicians, but in a safe manner.
He decided to play duets with six diverse, but very talented musical partners, resulting in the eight selections that comprise their brand new album, Socially Distanced Duos.
In short, Pearring Sound pairs different line-ups of professional instrumentalists, dedicated to the expression of emotion through sound, to share a musical journey.
Indeed, the ability to draw on the American tradition of improvisation, while maintaining a deep sense of self, facilitates a unique relatable expression of the moment.
The trust, as an ensemble, to take musical leaps transforms sound into feeling. The inclination to slide between complex abstract musical vocabulary and the simple statements of a meditative daily practice.
There is nothing complicated about participation in the Instrumental Underground. No certification or documentation required. So if you hear it and you feel it, then it is right!
1. Twisting Pavement
2. Time in Isolation
4. A Continuous Conversation Renewed
6. No, We Dont
7. Present Value Impact, the Gift
8. Extempore Arquitectura
Eased into this new recording by mesmerizingly opaque Twisting Pavement and the lush orchestrations of Time in Isolation, next up is the playful Shapeshifter and then the upright bass-led A Continuous Conversation Renewed.
Then we get one of my own personal favorites, the omnipresent ambiance of Solar which is itself backed by the gently funky No, We Dont, with the album rounding out on the scuffled jam, staggered ebb and flow of Present Value Impact, the Gift, closing on the drumtastic Extempore Arquitectura.
Jeff Pearring was born in Colorado, started on the alto saxophone when he was ten, and had a career in economics before switching to music.
He worked early on in classical music, ska and reggae, but turned towards jazz, studying with the late pianist-educator Connie Crothers, one of his mentors.
With his constantly evolving Pearring Sound, the altoist recorded What Happened in 2016, 2018s True Story, and Nothing But Time in 2019.
Socially Distanced Duos is admittedly the most unusual of the Pearrling Sound, but is quite timely and features Pearring in top form as the COVID era finally begins to end.
Jeff Pearring, alto sax all tracks, Billy Mintz, drums 1,2, Cameron Brown, bass 5,6, Claire de Brunner, bassoon 3, Daniel Carter, soprano saxophone 7, Francisco Mela, drums 8, Ken Filiano, bass 4.
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