Contrabassist Mark Dresser and cellist Frances-Marie Uitti are both respected members of the avant-garde and improvisational music establishment. Dresser, who is based in Brooklyn, was a member of Anthony Braxton’s quartet for nine years and has also worked with Robert Dick, Bob Ostertag, John Zorn, and others, while Uitti has collaborated with John Cage, Luigi Nono, Brian Ferneyhough, and Iannis Xenakis. Both players make great use of extended string techniques. Dresser’s approach is a grab bag of battuto and col legno techniques, as well as “double glissandi” and creative amplification; Uitti, even more interestingly, uses two bows at once on her cello, permitting her to play four-voice chords and contrasting simultaneous dynamics. The seven improvisations that make up this program are consistently fascinating and frequently lovely. The title track occasionally sounds like two people trying to tune to each other, but passes repeatedly into passages of subdued beauty, and on “Montebell,” Uitti’s artificial harmonics swoop over Dresser’s 5/8 digressions to stunning effect. Though perhaps not for the faint of heart, this is “instant composition” of very high quality. – Rick Andersonmore »
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