For the last several years, saxophonist Rich Halley has been releasing a steady stream of albums that wander back and forth across the permeable border between modern and free jazz. Here, he teams up with his son and bandmate Carson for ten tracks of sax / drum duos.
The fact that Rich and Carson have two decades of experience together is evidenced by the ease at which they belt out these spontaneous compositions. Rich is not a pure outside player, but he has the versatility to play it straight or left of center. Carson is a supple yet powerful percussionist who plays off of his dad’s melodies, accentuating Rich’s angular themes and motifs.
That isn’t to say that the duo avoids all sense of a groove, but the vast majority of this album is closer to the Coltrane / Ali Interstellar Space vein than not. Thus, there are no repeated themes or reprises – just flat out improv. Favorite tracks? The aggressive From Memory, and the introspective Snake Eyes.
Another solid effort from Oregon’s most notable sax-man.