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Joe McPhee/Joe Giardullo: Specific Gravity

Fans of Joe McPhee must consider this a golden period of visibility, if nothing else, for the multireedist. McPhee continues to churn out new recordings on labels like Cadence and Boxholder as his difficult-to-find early work resurfaces on labels like Hathut and Atavistic. The flow continues unabated with this pair of spare, patient recordings from the multi-instrumentalist.

Specific Gravity finds McPhee in the company of fellow fringe dweller and reedman Joe Giardullo. For the program, Giardullo adds his real-time electronics, which are among the most minimal and tasteful out there: on “A Priori,” its ticking as if from an alarm clock; elsewhere its selective echo effect. The two men work slowly and deliberately, each giving the other the utmost space, focusing on nuance in interval and texture. The recording peaks on the starkly beautiful, delicate rendition of Coltrane’s “After the Rain.”

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