Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ralph Towner, Paolo Fresu, Chiaroscuro, ECM

Chiaroscuro is art characterized by contrast between light and dark and here, I would have to say, Towner's guitar is the dark and Paolo's trumpet and flugelhorn are the light, which is maybe not what I might expect, although in point of fact neither is all that dark nor overly bright. Mostly, this is very peaceful music, bordering on classical, Sacred Place for instance, particularly where Towner's playing is concerned.

Paolo, as always, makes me think of Miles, not in an imitative sense, also as usual, but as a logical extension by a man with a horn who comes from the European tradition. Their rendition of Blue in Green is a perfect example and simply marvelous. Likewise the rest of this duo session, a format that gives them both plenty of room to work. Doubled Up makes me think of a two-man Jazz Messengers piece, or Miles and the second great quintet at the Plugged Nickel.