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Out Twice
Nate Doward
Nine of the eleven pieces on Michel Lambert's Out Twice are improvised from the drummer's graphic scores, which are reproduced in cropped form in the booklet and viewable in full online. In addition, there is one piece, "Ice on the River," based on conventional notation, and a free improvisation, "Tiré au Sort," for which Lambert reversed the process by producing a drawing in response to the performance. To judge by the photos, Lambert's drawings seem to be largely executed in colored pencil and pen (though crayons and paint also are evident): they possess a fluidity that itself has an improvisational quality, the marks and images looped and scribbled across the white space of the page and lightly dotted with the composer's annotations, instructions and commentaries. It's a small frustration for this reviewer that the music is so firmly associated with two-dimensional art, as otherwise the natural analogy for these airy, gracefully balanced performances would surely be a Calder mobile. Five tracks are performed by a piano trio featuring veteran pianist Milcho Leviev, who plays with a delicacy and insight comparable to Paul Bley; six others are by a trio featuring saxophonist Lionel Garcin and the great Barre Phillips. The latter are perhaps a little more ordinary - Garcin plays well, possessing a murmuring Evan Parker timbre, yet doesn't strongly grab the attention. But both sessions have their respective strengths, and there are some lovely performances here, such as the gently kaleidoscopic "Mémoires" and Aire de Repos," and Vitrail pour Herbie, in memoriam the late Montreal trumpeter Herbie Spanier.
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