Frank Paul Schubert / Matthias Muller – Foils

(FMR)

This duo, embodied by relatively young improvisers —Schubert on soprano sax, Müller on trombone — belongs to a sphere of impromptu performers of unsullied virtuosity, also sensible to the subtle hues that differentiate raucous dilettantism from accomplished researching. Foils — recorded in Berlin, February 2011 — does not offer excessive target for the arrows of unforgiving criticism; all over its nine tracks — even the calmer ones — heartfelt passion fuels the musicians’ intention of avoiding the “let’s-contemplate-what-we-did” attitude that drags a fair amount of recordings down the waters of tedium.

Each piece might be taken as an example of exuberant technical maturity, some of them outstanding in terms of sharp legerdemain and sheer involvement. “The Epiphany Diagram” sees the couple running fast across articulate counterpoint-cum-screaming outbreaks, still leaving space for the mind to understand the majority of the occurring events. Then we’re suddenly pushed into the pop-fizz-and-hiss area, but with musicality and sense of spacing virtually unknown to the novices who pretend to be experts in the disproportionate egalitarianism of today’s art.

What’s instantly noticeable is the absence of any trace of plagiarism. Every pitch, or mere emission, sounds connected to a primary instinct, halfway through surviving in a dangerous place and the necessity of telling uneasy truths in their entirety before someone comes and shuts the dissenter’s mouth. “Written On Rubber” compares two kinds of similar needs, both players apparently driven by the burning desire of arriving — quickly — to a thorough assessment of who they are. To this aim, no password or trick is requested; just the internal combustion that should propel an honest improviser. Believe it or not, the number of those who belong to the category is not that high.

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