Snapshot Duo features Danish-American reeds player Louise Dam Eckardt Jensen (playing alto saxophone, clarinet, flute, vocals and electronics) and Danish reeds player Simon Spang-Hanssen (playing tenor sax and flute). This crosse-generational duo has played together for about a decade and still continues to explore the known and unknown realms of its respective reeds instruments. Prehistoric Now is the debut album of the duo.
Jensen tends to the more raw side of this duo, following her long-term exploration of harsh noise and questing melodic forays (she recently formed a «hellish» saxophone quartet comprised of legendary Japanese noise saxophonist Tamio Shiraishi, tenor saxophonist Matt Nelson (of Battle Trance) and Chris Pitsiokos). Prehistoric Now is released on Marksen Records, Jensen’s and her husband, Double bass player Tom Blancarte, own label. Spang-Hanssen, who is a generation older, is rooted in the modern jazz legacy.
Prehistoric Now offers five pieces, each one with a title that tells about its atmosphere. The opening, short «Snapshot Aesthetic» cements the emphatic, conversational dynamics of Jensen and Spang-Hanssen. He states a melody on the flute while she abstracts it and attempts to take it to the most extreme terrains possible. The following short pieces, the alto and tenor sax duo «Multi Tasking Space Roots» brings fond memories of the early World Saxophone Quartet, while «Time Machine» suggests a nostalgic, sweet melody and «Control of Fire» explores a meditative, folky melody.
Snapshot Duo stretches its aesthetics – and muscles – much more in the 27-minute «The First Stone Tools». This free improvised and free-associative saxes conversation (with Jensen alternating with vocals and electronics) is more urgent and restless, exploring the respective timbres of the alto and tenor saxes with extended breathing techniques, rarely surrendering to familiar conventions or narratives, stressing the rich and imaginative language of these resourceful improvisers, but most of all the risk-taking essence of this extended improvisation. It flows organically and keeps its emphatic spirit.
Louise Dam Eckardt Jensen (alto saxophone, clarinet, flute, vocals, electronics), Simon Spang Hanssen (tenor saxophone, flute)