The New & Avant-garde Music Store

Review

Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery, November 8, 2013

I caught Canadian clarinetist, Lori Freedman, on numerous occasions over the past decade: playing solo (at Guelph Fest), in duos (Queen Mab at Victo & with Joe McPhee at the Vision Fest), in the Queen Mab Trio (with Ig Hanneman) as well as with several members of the Ambiances Magnétiques collective. In September of this year (2013), Ms. Freedman was featured with Ensemble SuperMusique at Guelph and again shined in her solos and ensemble work. Drummer John Heward is based in Montreal and better known as a visual artist. Mr. Heward does have some fine duo and trio discs out with Steve Lacy, Joe Giardullo, Glenn Freeman, Joe McPhee, Tristan Honsinger, Jean Derome and others. There is something special about duo efforts that I dig: they often sound like an intimate conversation between two old friends who speak the same language and have had similar experiences. This disc does sound like that. There is a marvelous back and forth blend of energy and communication. The duo take their time and play quietly in the beginning, getting to know each other’s voice. This is not about fireworks but about a thoughtful balance of the elements. Lori’s clarinet playing is actually voice-like, she often sounds like a bird or some other creature who is describing their life and history. Mr. Heward seems to be playing a thumb piano on one of the improvisations and adding a certain quirkiness while Ms. Freedman switches to some serious bass clarinet sounds. This entire disc unfolds like a series of stories that are told between friends. There is nothing better than to curl up and read a good book and consider what is in store. Mode Records releases discs on their Avant series on rare occasion. This one is a definite gem.

This entire disc unfolds like a series of stories that are told between friends.

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