The duet performances on Ad-Lib Orbits feature the voices of two jazz generations. Adam Pieroncyzk, (b. 1970), the Polish saxophonist; and bassist Miroslav Vitous (b. 1947). Pieroncyzk has earned international acclaim for his homage to his countryman, Krzysztof Komeda on Komeda: The Innocent Sorcerer (Jazzwerkstatt Records, 2010) and on his odd and modernistic masterpiece, Monte Alban (Jazzsound, 2016). Vitous rose to top-level fame as a co-founder of the innovative group Weather Report in the 1970s. He has continued to push his art into the future, as a prolific sideman and also as a leader on a double handful of recordings on ECM. A recent example: Remembering Weather Report (ECM Records, 2009), a molding the seminal group's sound into new millennium sculpture.
The beauty of these individual voices in these particular hands is stunning. The melding of them is transformational. They sound like human voices of the spectral kind, full of mysterious passions, engaging in spirited conversation.
For the second time, these artists join together in their idiosyncratic give-and-take. The first time: Wings (Fortune Productions, 2015). Now they offer Ad-Lib Orbits, taking the themes and motifs explored on the former disc, and moving them into them an even more adventurous terrain.
On the ten spontaneously-composed tunes, the bass and saxophone circle each other in planet-and-moon mode, each by turns projecting the heavier gravitational pull, and often moving into a double star system embrace, rotating in the assumption of equal mass, sending washes of vibrations back and forth across their barycenter.
Vitous has been, throughout his career, an innovator, bringing the bass to the forefront of his ensembles, engaging with a rare parity of input with reeds and brass instruments. In the duet sessions, this is even more pronounced. Pieroncyzk and Vitous are equal partners here in creating uncommon sounds and atmospheres. Both of their voices sing with otherworldly sonorities. Pieroncyzk's individualist virtuosity on and tenor and soprano saxophones lays down line drawings of supernatural imagery; Vitous does the same playing pizzicato, while his arco mode creates luminescent backdrops and otherworldly harmonics.
Tune titlescertainly tagged on after deep listening of the improvisational performancesreveal an attitude born of wide-ranging intellects and curious world views: "Favorite Robot," "Einstein," "The Ants," "Radio Telescope." Curious word combinations come to mind with an immersion in this music. I thought of a soundtrack to the things that robots dream; I thought of the songs of Solar leviathans in David Brin's sci-fi novel, Sundiver (1980), and the songs of whales and dolphins, and celestial serenades and catacomb lullabies, ideas elicited by these uniquely beautiful and enchanting sounds.
Radio Telescope; Little Tower; Einstein; The Freedom To Rotate; The Train Stations; The Ants;
Cyprian: The Weightless Monk; Favourite Robots; Two Clowns; Open Range; Flamenco Spell;
Movement; Puppet; The Moroccan Blue Note; Short Stroll; Oriental Nights.
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