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April 2000

Mat Maneri/Pandelis Karayorgis
Lift and Poise
Leo Records

On Lift & Poise, Mat and Karayorgis are joined by Joe Maneri on clarinet for two selections and John Lockwood plays bass on three others. Mat and Karayorgis also have one unaccompanied track apiece. Karayorgis has performed in relatively traditional settings, but he's at his best in this free context. His touch is light but firm, and he produces a pretty, round timbre, which gives his work a gentle quality even when he employs intervals and voicings that are jarring when played by other pianists. Much of Lift & Poise contains relaxed, thoughtful and sometimes pointillistic collective improvising. Mat, on acoustic violin, and Karayorgis listen closely to each other, playing in registers that do not conflict; you can hear and follow them easily and they complement each other beautifully. Joe's clarinet work certainly adds to the interest here and, like the others, he's in a mellow mood.

Originally published in April 2000
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