Ab Barrs & Terrie Ex - Shifting Sands (CD Terp Records)


Ten new duets between these Dutch improvisers who’ve at least one collaborative release behind them already. Ab Baars has been honking, parking and screeching away on either clarinet or sax for a few decades now, whilst Terrie appears to be a relative newcomer whose instrument of choice consists of six strings that can, yes, draw blood.  Between them, there’s a rich history of work with people such as Ken Vandermark, Paal Nilssen-Love, Jaap Blonk, Xavier Charles, Mats Gustafsson and the like, indicating the pedigree to hand. Here, there’s a vivacity at work which remains raw and earthy yet allows for space as much as bouts of almost volcanic intensity. Clipped melodies and manic blasts converge with the guitar’s untamed arpeggios, chopped rhythms and tiny textural bridges, clearly illustrating exactly how good such music is when there’s chemistry in abundance. Free jazz continues to have a place all the while it’s in such good hands. Evocative, powerful and difficult to turn from, Shifting Sands makes for an album to throw in front of all the pretenders. Good work. RJ

Contact: www.terprecords.nl