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På skive



«Conduits» features two British free-improvisers – baritone sax player Cath Roberts and double bass player Olie Brice, recorded in real-time but in different locations due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. Roberts played in London, Brice from Hastings, both playing online in January 2021 using free software for high-quality network performance over the internet called JackTrip. Roberts and Brice have played together before and recorded with vibes player Corey Mwamba the album «Trio set at LUME, April 2016» (CathRobots, 2020) and both are collaborating in the new quartet Spinningwork, with sax player Tom Ward and drummer Johnny Hunter (who plays also in Roberts’ Sloth Racket).

The cover photo, taken by Brice, captures the essence of this free-improvised meeting. Roberts and Brice build and solidify more and more channels of communication. The first piece «Pipework» presents Roberts and Brice searching for the right dynamics for such a remote meeting, fast-shifting moving from contemplative to intense ones, in a complete free-associative flow without settling on a familiar course. The second piece «Peering» is more focused and suggests a loose structure of spontaneous, intimate composition, a deep-toned conversation between close friends, with many expressive nuances who feel free to juggle with a swinging pattern.

The last piece, «Buoyancy Chamber» is the most beautiful one. It is openly emotional, lyrical and profound as if Roberts and Brice anticipate each other’s gestures and insist on solidifying the many conduits that bind these gifted improvisers so close.

Eyal Hareuveni

Cath Roberts (bs), Olie Brice (b)

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