Kali. Z. Fasteau: Making Waves

Here multi-instrumentalist Fasteau plays a set of duos with tenor saxophonist Kidd Jordan and pianist Bobby Few (bassist Sirone makes it a trio with Few and the leader on a couple of tracks). The results are mixed. Jordan and Few are almost uniformly superb. Jordan’s intensity, his sound and the fluidity with which he gets around the horn are arresting. Few’s approach is occasionally a bit florid for my taste, yet he’s a fine player with a wonderful touch. Sirone is fine in a spare, supporting role.

Fasteau’s drumming has a certain appealing, quicksilver quality. Soprano sax is her strongest ax, however; on a pair of duos with Few she plays with focused intensity and much imagination. If her pitch is shaky, that’s hardly grounds for strong criticism given the expressionist nature of this music. Her vocal, cello and synth work is less accomplished. Are there are any digital synth patches that don’t sound like they belong in a Duran Duran song? If so, Fasteau hasn’t found them. Her thereminlike vocals don’t work, either. I respectfully suggest that she concentrate on the instrument she plays best and set the others aside.