Chefa Alonso and Albert Kaul: The Reliable Uncertainty (2010)
Alonso and Kaul each has an improvisation-related PhD, hers for research into free improvisation and composition, his for theories for teaching musical improvisation. The Reliable Uncertainty was recorded in June 2010 in Kaul's home town at the Municipal Music School of Marburg, Germany. "Sand in the Pocket"on both versions of the albumcharacterizes the duo's interactions. There are contrasts between the two: Alonso displays her knowledge of the history of improvisation through her playingat times there are echoes of the soprano playing of Steve Lacy, Lol Coxhill and Evan Parker but she is no copyist; the end product is her own. Kaul initially leans towards the role of accompanist, one at which he is adept, but as he moves into the spotlight he becomes a fiery soloist producing torrents of fractured chords and ideas. The fascination of their duo playing is the effect that each has on the other, resulting in a negotiated music that is somewhere between that which either might produce alone.
In concert, the improvisations of Alonso and Kaul are often accompanied by the rather cryptic moving-images of Barbara Meyer. Although the two complement each other well, the music is not designed to be a soundtrack to the visuals; it stands up well without the visuals, and vice versa.
Track Listing: Scrap; Sand in the Pocket; Whirl; Puddles in the Hands.
Personnel: Chefa Alonso: soprano saxophone, percussion; Albert Kaul: piano.
Record Label: Audition