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Keefe Jackson/Jason Adasiewicz: Rows and Rows

The duet is one of the purest expressions in jazz: unfiltered, unsullied and confidential by its very nature. Tenor saxophonist and bass clarinetist Keefe Jackson and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz-regulars within Chicago’s AACM-inspired improvisational music cabal-wear the format well on Rows and Rows. They’ve been circling each other for more than a decade, both having contributed to cornetist Josh Berman’s 2009 Old Idea, another Delmark release, but this dialogue puts both players in a different space than they’re customarily heard.

It’s evident from the first 10 seconds of Jackson’s “Caballo Ballo” that there’s an instinctual compatibility between them. Adasiewicz’s vibes are, for a full half-minute, redolent of an incessantly ringing doorbell; Jackson tries his damnedest to coax his partner out of the endless loop, then figures if ya can’t beat ’em, join ’em. A most unusual and beguiling call-and-response ensues, a playful dance that ultimately breaks down into a morass of deranged percussion and squeaks before finding its way back. There’s much kooky fun to be had in its unexpectedness.

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