Rudi Mahall / Alexander von Schlippenbach: So Far. CD
"The duo kicks off with 'all Jazz is free' - a title which is a quote whose origin Evan Parker, in the liner notes, tries to trace. Apparently it has been attributed to himself, but he believes it was from something he once read … regardless, what Parker ends up providing is a very succinct summation of the development of Free Jazz, naming names and explaining the inexplicable.
In the end, he states “AvS has retained an affection for the ‘j-word’, insisting that there remains some however hard to define attitude which distinguishes his approach from the totally open improvisation often associated with other European developments …” And from the moment the track begins, it’s obvious that Parker is spot on. We first hear Mahall’s bass clarinet with a loopimg mid-register melody shadowed by rhythmic and, mostly consonant, comping by Schlippenbach. Soon, it isn't Mahall leading but Schlippenbach's jazz inflected streams of consciousness darting about. The duo proceeds in a good natured pursuit - handing off leads and supporting roles, intensifying as they go. Schlippenbach's rhythms get punchy, giving Mahall something to run into and bounce off in a new direction. The slow down at the end is simply to end the track, not out of a lack of ideas."