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Mystic Nights

Pat Battstone and Richard Poole

Who says jazz is not rocket science? Not to Patrick Battstone, who by day is a rocket scientist for Draper Labs, joined by his collaborator Richard Poole, the two embark on an expedition beyond the stars.

The nature of a duo is an exposed setting that creates a canvas of conversation and exploration. So when you take two percussive instruments like vibes and piano, and blend them into a sonic message, the end result is the brainchild of pianist Patrick Battstone and vibraphonist Richard Poole, entitles Mystic Nights.

The journey begins with “Scottish Heather,” Battstone begins with a soft touch setting up the breadth of textures and sounds about to come. Poole sprinkles light accents of vibraphone, as the two further the conversation with moving sonorities that unfold long contrapuntal lines of colorful intervals.

“Something Lurking” gives the listener the opportunity to enjoy the music that is in its own way impressionist. Evoking DeBussy with Improvisational styles of Keith Jarrett’s solo concerts, obscuring the line between classical and jazz.

“When Creatures Reigned” rhythmically explores motivic concepts along with angular lines of streaming notes, coupled with a powerful thesis of developing themes. The two create a dynamic similar to a rustled exchanged.

As in daily, “Life Stories” the composition transverses through a moving terrain of subject matter that reflect its title, a journey of extraordinary 4 mallet expressiveness, paired with the hammered tones from the piano, this selection musically inhales and ex-hails as the theme builds upon itself to convey a story of a moment in life.

In closing, the title theme “Mystic Nights” begins with a bellowing of bass sounds from the piano, while Battstone employs overtones by plucking the strings on the piano. Poole, weaves in and out of the fullness created by Battstone to offset the piece with a light framework.

Mystic Nights is a welcomed addition to any precocious avant-garde or improvisational jazz collection

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Geannine Reid