Amber / Lori Freedman, Scott Thomson

Scott Thomson and Lori Freedman first played together in Toronto in 2006 where they immediately identified shared musical affinities: dynamics of tone and timbre, heterodox lyricism, the internal propulsion and forward motion of openly improvised material, freedom of expression, and play. Their instant rapport led them to record Plumb (2007, Barnyard Records), the first recording in Thomson’s and a notable addition to Freedman’s discography. In his liner notes, esteemed music writer Mark Miller identified the duo’s “folksy sort of virtuosity — amiable, agreeably unpretentious, and without the patented sheen of the conservatory.” In the years to follow, and especially after Thomson’s move to Montréal in 2010, the pair would work frequently in different groups but only in 2021 did they reconvene for a follow-up duo recording, Amber.

Freedman and Thomson are both acclaimed solo performers and have been featured as soloists at the renowned Festival international de musique actuelle de Victoriaville, for instance. Separately, they delve deeply into the technical and expressive resources of their instruments to satisfyingly sustain long-form solo improvisations. However, Amber is much more than the combination of its soloist parts, and the duo agrees that the other impels them to thrilling, visceral music they simply would not play otherwise, an alchemy of group improvisation. As Stuart Broomer writes in the Amber liner note, “Each has a genius for timbre, for variety whether sequential or simultaneous, framing multiply, almost orchestrally, rather than univocally.” Ranging crazily from quiet stasis to chops-throttled entropy, the duo’s music is richly reinvented in every vital incarnation.

CD (CF 606)

  • Label: Clean Feed Records
  • CF 606
  • 2022
  • UCC 5609063006063
  • Sympathique case
  • 126 mm × 126 mm × 5 mm
  • 40 g