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Classical pianist Finch and jazz saxophonist Speake met in 2013 when both attended an improvisation workshop for classical students. They so enjoyed playing together that they decided to record this CD. While Sound Clouds is mostly freely improvised, a sense of structure remains: several titles reference generic forms, and two tracks are based on specific compositions. The duo sound especially good in relaxed mode – in Berceuse, for instance, where Speake’s cool alto and Finch’s fluttery piano concoct a lovely, spare lyricism. Faster pieces, such as the dense Sound Clouds, dedicated to Xenakis, are less convincing. The disc is rather an oddity, but I’d love to hear a (more unbuttoned) follow-up.

GRAHAM LOCK Read the full review on Agora Classica


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