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Joëlle Léandre/George Lewis: Transatlantic Visions

According to poet Alexandre Pierrepont in the liner notes of Transatlantic Visions, French bassist Joelle Léandre will go to any length to play duets. If this is true, then her choice of AACM trombonist George Lewis is appropriate. Lewis gives her a rich vocabulary with which she can interact, in a conversation that often seems as though it involves more than two musicians.

Recorded live at Vision Festival XIII in June, 2008, Léandre and Lewis make an odd couple. That the string bass and the brass trombone can make sonic sense testifies to the artistry of the musicians. How Léandre uses her bow and how Lewis manipulates the slide of the trombone reveals their common sound-making ability. Léandre utilizes every imaginable aspect of arco technique to match Lewis’ blustery buzzing, blurting, blubbering and muting. The two distinctly different sounds crash and collide or blend in similar rhythmic cadence and timbre. Léandre also fields vocalizing possibilities, the grunts and growls of which neatly analogize those of the trombone.

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