Christian Zehnder & Gregor Hilbe: Oloid: Release Information
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Release Date: 22.03.2013
TT Catalogue No: 4584
Theo and Kirk is the unique premiere recording by this duo that has been working together for over two years. It is completely acoustic piano and voice, there are no overdubs and the pieces were played in one pass - no studio magic here, just the magic of their talents.
There are nine tunes on this recording, six by Nurock and three by others including Duke Ellington ("In a Mellow Mood") and Eddie Harris ("Freedom jazz Dance"). The breadth of artisty, expressiveness and virtuosity include yearning jazz ballads, swinging keyboard, experimental piano and vocal forays, dark piano compositions, poetry put to music, passionate and artful vocalizing that includes playful scat singing, howling, barking, groans, bleating, gurgles and more. Seldom has such an assortment of songs and styles been so capably performed on one recording.
"The Truth is Spoken With Your Eyes" is a dramatic song that includes wolf howling from Theo. "Keepsake Mill" is a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson made into a jazzy tune. On "Asphalt Nightmare" Theo's array of sound effects, worthy of Bobby McFerrin, is wonderfully complemented by Nurock's muscular piano work. Ellington's "In A Mellow Tone" is treated straight-forwardly with smooth vocals by Theo and bluesy, stride-like piano by Kirk ... with some delightful surprises thrown in. Harris's "Freedom Jazz Dance" begins quietly with Theo's vocalizing sounding like, perhaps, a trapped animal yearning for freedom. It then explodes into a wonderful duo statement of the theme featuring a percussive thunderstorm by Nurock and the screeching, yet musical vocalizing of Theo.
Theo & Kirk bring the spectrum of human sentiment closer to the listener with feeling, virtuosity, risk-taking and humor that is never silly. Every tune is its own little masterpiece that reveals a panorama of love and suffering. It's a roller coaster ride that you won't want to get off.
"These two incredible improvisers are not only masters of their instruments
and the art of duo-playing. They are also musical alchemists of the highest
order. Kirk and Theo, masters of the 'delicate balance' give us a gift, a listening
and sharing experience which goes beyond fifty minutes of music."