American trumpeter Chris Williams and sax player Patrick Shiroishi are much more than brass and reeds players. Williams and Shiroishi want to say something bigger about the close, conversational relationship between these instruments and the sonic possibilities of an intimate meeting between gifted, fearless improvisers. Williams, who has worked before with Eyvind Kang, Nicole Mitchell and Fay Victor play on «Sans Soleil» on trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, synthesizer and objects. The prolific and hard-working Shiroishi plays the alto, tenor, baritone, soprano and sopranino saxes plus clarinet and glockenspiel electric toothbrush.
«Sans Soleil» is released by Astral Spirits as a cassette (already in its second pressing) plus download option. It features seven free-improvised duets, all offer distinct atmospheres and moods, and all highlight the rich, imaginative language of Williams and Shiroishi, which employs free jazz as one of many sources of inspiration. The opening, sparse «Cherry» sounds like a ceremonial introduction to «Sans Soleil», patiently exploring the personal extended breathing techniques that both Williams and Shiroishi would employ throughout this meeting. «The Last Rhodesian Was A Lie» is a minimalist yet poetic and enigmatic drone that relies on the industrial static sound that corresponds with Shiroishi and Williams’ melodic comments. «History Is Violent» refers to the free jazz legacy, and suggests an emphatic conversation, first gentle and intimate and later rough and intense between two close friends.
«In The Pines, In The Pines» is the most emotional conversation of Williams and Shiroishi, playful and melodic but always seeks to push further the sonic envelope. «Present Looms» deepens this intimate and lyrical vein, a quiet yet intense duet where the Voices of Williams and Shiroishi become one sonic entity. «[Mis]quoting Spirituals» is full of passion and is charged with the spiritual free jazz energy of the late sixties, but now matched with a sobering and irreverent dark synthesizer drone. The last duet, «Winters Flow Into Springs» returns to the leisurely and sparse mood of the first piece, marking a peaceful conclusion for this daring journey.
Astral Spirits label stresses that Shiroishi by now should be a household name. This can be said also on Williams. These two young improvisers are at the top of their game, powerful, articulate, wise and full of passion.
Chris Williams (tp, cor, flh, synth, obj), Patrick Shiroishi (as, bs, sopraninos, ss, ts, cl, electric toothbrush, glockenspiel)