… clarinettist Lori Freedman shares with Arthur Doyle a staccato, atonal approach, eschewing conventional melodic lines for generally shorter bursts of sound that begin to construct their own coherence as the piece unfolds. Her lines on this disc are consistently as gripping as they are unpredictable, and invested with superb balance and emotion. Here, although they are joined by a number of guests-including a bombastic Tina Kiik on accordion-she and pianist Marilyn Lerner remain front and centre. They have a remarkable symbiosis, with Lerner’s quite elegant lines sometimes giving this the sound of what it might have been like if Eric Dolphy had ever played in a duo with Cecil Taylor. Of the guests, vocalist Fides Kruker makes the most lasting impression with sometimes caterwauling, sometimes cooing lines, recalling Lauren Newton, Maggie Nichols, and Julie Tippets. This is at times a forbidding disc, but it is ultimately quite spectacularly rewarding. Lerner and Freedman never repeat themselves, never lapse into clichés, and always keep the listener revelling in the sounds of surprise.