actuellecd

Review

Frank Rubolino, Cadence, no. 27:2, February 1, 2001

Léandre is very much at home in the duet setting having used this format on several recent recordings with different partners and instrumentation. On, she and drummer Roger speak in very personal tones that bring out the esthetic beauty of their two instruments. Léandre initiates the action with a vigorous display of arco playing, to which Roger simultaneously responds with a deft, sensitive drum touch. Roger uses bells cymbals, and other percussion devices to establish a serene mood. This state is temporary for she becomes more aggressive in response to the physicality displayed by Léandre. The bassist moves gracefully from bowing to plucking and back again, projecting hugely rich tones containing muscular strength and power. In step, Roger shrouds the output with quickly emerging splats of brush and stick work to set a galloping pace for the two women.

The program consists of nine exercises in bass/ drum intercommunication. Either artist is likely to set the direction. On Jeux de mains, Roger uses her hands and palms to rub abrasive textures into the song, which causes Léandre to become somewhat percussive herself as she aggressively taps the strings The rhythm patterns are not completely atonal. An occasional tangible beat will suddenly emerge and then flee as quickly as it appeared. On au clair de lune, Léandre plays a mournful strain while Roger is in complete contrast with spontaneous and rapid spitfires of sound. Throughout, the music is cloaked in density and weightiness. The foreboding overtones give way to hopefulness and then recede back in an undercurrent of darkness. Léandre vocally injects the spirit of the Native American on Coupes blanches, and the ethnic beat of Roger matches. These duets represent two very talented artists. painting a formidable picture of intense audibility. There is no need for any other instrument on this set. Léandre and Roger say it all.

These duets represent two very talented artists.