Karl Berger – vibraphone and piano – Kirk Knuffke – cornet
CD 1 recorded on the 18th December, 2013. CD 2 – 23rd January, 2014 at Sertso Studio, Woodstock New York. Recorded mixed by Ted Orr. Mastered by Arūnas Zujus at MAMAstudios. Photos by by Peter Gannushkin / DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET – Design by Oskaras Anosovas. Produced by Danas Mikailionis. Co-producer – Valerij Anosov
Tracklist CD 1: 1. Bell (Knuffke) 2. Moon (Knuffke) 3. Movies (Berger) 4. No one will be here over there (Berger) 5. Pedal (Berger & Knuffke) 6. Poem (Knuffke) 7. Point Point (Knuffke) 8. This is what we’re thinking (Berger) 9. Travel East (Berger)
Tracklist CD 2: 1. Sneakhead (Berger) 2. Isn’t it time (Berger) 3. Turns (Berger & Knuffke) 4. No No Thank You (Knuffke) 5. Taunts (Berger & Knuffke) 6. Terrace and Trees (Berger & Knuffke) 7. Lolaneta (Knuffke)
Karl and I met when
we shared the bill for an “Arts for Art” night of music dedicated to Ed Blackwell. Karl was a longtime associate of Ed’s. There were two duets featured that night. Karl played duo with the great William Parker and I was invited by drummer Gerald Cleaver to play duets from the record “El Corazon” and other tunes in tribute to Ed Blackwell and Don Cherry. Karl of course played a ton with Don too!
After this meeting Karl and I became fast friends. Karl invited me to teach with him at the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock NY, and now I have 2 times. It was there that we played duo for the nightly Guiding Artist concert and the concept of this album was born. Playing with Karl is so free and natural. It is my sincere pleasure to have him as a friend and a musical brother. — Kirk Knuffke
Double CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)
Today’s music is a real treat! It is a two-CD duet between Karl Berger and Kirk Knuffke. It is entitled Moon (NoBusiness NBCD 76-77). On it we get 16 numbers composed by Karl, Kirk or both, with extensive improvisations.
Knuffke is that rapidly rising cornet firebrand who has graced quite a few sessions of late, a player of classic poise and excellent ideas. Berger is a living monument, a vibraphonist among the very best, a beautiful force for avant jazz, new thing, or whatever you want to call it since the ’60s and his seminal recordings on his own and with Don Cherry. He also is the founder of the all-important Creative Music Studio, leader of a very fine big band, pianist of thoughtful demeanor and composer of great strength.
OK, all that considered you would expect this two-CD set to be something fine. And it is. There is a strong connection in place between the two throughout. Karl sounds just fabulous. And he even plays some melodica here, happily. Kirk gets a chance to interact with Karl in ways that show an introspective, intimate side of his playing we don’t hear as much of in the larger ensemble performances. The compositions are anything from “blowing” structures to full-blown, more or less through-composed gems. They combine with the improvisatory brilliance of the two in especially good form to make a recording that breathes with true life.
I do not need to break the music down into little bits. You can do that as you listen. The fact is, though, that the music hangs together so well as a whole that the experience is in that way holistic. It is exceptionally there at nearly every moment. It is a voyage from disk to ears that puts you in a special place, the sort of thing only two masters of the improvisatory arts can give you and that on especially good days.
I cannot recommend this album more heartily. It is a strong part of our now fading year, certainly.