AMN Reviews: Nathan Hubbard and Vinny Golia – Hunter’s Moon (2017; Castor & Pollux Music)

Percussionist Nathan Hubbard teams up for the first time with wind-instrumentalist Vinny Golia for a 70-minute duet. Hubbard’s 2016 release, Furiously Dreaming, was a favorite, and Golia is no stranger to anyone who follows west coast creative music. Hunter’s Moon is a full set recorded live in San Diego late last year. Consisting of one long track entitled What Are You Looking For? Oh, Two Doors Down…, the album is essentially a free-improv workout from two who are adept at that style.

Hubbard applies his usual rattling, unconventional technique, playing kit drums and controlling field recordings and samples along the way. His contributions eschew anything resembling a steady rhythm, as he uses his drums and associated objects as a co-lead to Golia.

Golia begins on flute, alternating between clean blowing and dissonance. At about the seven-minute mark, he switches to sax. Here, he shows Steve Lacy influences as he lays down flowing, melodic lines that gradually become more frantic. Around 39 minutes, he switches over to bass instruments and takes a more ponderous approach. He finishes up on soprano.

Throughout, Hunter’s Moon explores numerous tempos, textures, and styles. Hubbard and Golia alternative between playing off of each other and forging their own paths in parallel. As percussion / wind duet albums go, you can’t do much better.

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