Craig Taborn And Ikue Mori : Highsmith
CRAIG TABORN

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CRAIG TABORN - Craig Taborn And Ikue Mori : Highsmith cover
4.00 | 1 rating | 1 review
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Album · 2017

Filed under Avant-Garde Jazz

Tracklist

1 The Still Point Of The Turning World 3:47
2 Music To Die By 6:00
3 The Disagreeable Pigeons 4:17
4 Nothing That Meets The Eye 3:24
5 Variations On A Game 3:32
6 Quiet Night 3:28
7 A Bird In Hand 3:01
8 Dangerous Hobby 3:31
9 Things Had Gone Badly 3:55
10 Mermaids On The Golf Course 9:41
11 Trouble With The World 4:06

Line-up/Musicians

Electronics – Ikue Mori
Piano – Craig Taborn

About this release

Tzadik ‎– TZ 4017 (US)

Recorded and mixed February 4, 2017 at Oktaven Audio, Mount Vernon, NY

Thanks to snobb for the addition

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CRAIG TABORN CRAIG TABORN AND IKUE MORI : HIGHSMITH reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

snobb
After the release of probably his best album ever, "Daylight Ghosts", earlier this year, pianist Craig Taborn comes with a radically different work - a free improvisation collection recorded by a duo of himself and downtown laptop artist Ikue Mori.

Mori started her musical career as a self-taught percussionist in the New York no-wave scene, but soon switched to drum machines and electronics. During the last decade, she played and recorded regularly with many avant-garde jazz renown artists, including pianist Sylvie Courvoisier, violinist Mark Feldman, harpist Zeena Parkins, vocalist-electronicist Maja Ratkje, guitarist Fred Frith and cellist Okkyung Lee among many others.

A jazz duo of pianist and electronics/lap top artist probably doesn't sound like a great idea, at least on paper. Surprisingly, "Highsmith" contains more accessible and better organized music than one could expect. It is a collection of free improvisations, recorded in studio soon after the duo played live at the Village Vanguard in 2016, and even if the music sounds like free improvs for sure, it doesn't remind one of a bulky mix of accidental piano sounds and spacey loops, that's for sure.

Taborn plays quite explosive piano passages radiating dark chamber avant-garde beauty successfully combining them with silence without loosing the music's dynamic. Mori improvises using electronic sounds and noises around Craig's more solid sound, filling the space with every-second-changing electronic wizardry. All album long, the listener can't stop marveling hearing this unbelievable masterful use of percussive, in moments abrasive sounds, as equal part of complex (if ascetic) jazzy improvisation.

Lots of things happen every single moment here and after the album's last sounds, there is not even a trace of feeling that the album was too dread, repetitive or just openly boring. Successfully avoiding both formal electronics monotony, and cheap spacey looping tricks, "Highsmith" represents one really rare example of electro-acoustic improvisational music symbiosis which isn't too formal, and contains a lot of life in it, and being really experimental can attract more than a few dedicated listeners.

Interesting new side illustration for Taborn, one of the better recordings for Mori for sure.

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