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Album Review

After being initially available only as an audio cassette, Common Margins — featuring Michael Sokolowski (piano) and Tim Reynolds (guitar) — has been issued on compact disc boasting a notable sonic upgrade and adding a pair of cover versions in the process. The dozen wholly improvised selections are presented sans overdubs in an effort to accurately relay the spontaneity and practically palpable energy connecting the artists. The duo sculpt sounds touching on a variety of styles, ranging from new age ambient jazz to organic acoustic folk, tinged in neo-classical expressions. The auras diverge from the meditative "Birthlight" and "Dawn Switches On" to the rambunctious and liberating "Alive." These extremes are equally ambitious and expansive on "Spacewhale," enticing the listener into its tangible intimacy. The juxtaposition and contrasts found in "Object Puddle" demonstrate each musician's capacity to construct and inform his own contributions in the moment. They perform exceedingly well when relying on reactions and impulses, engaging themselves in a playful bout of call-and-response. The understated moody elegance of "Taking Refuge" is one of the most cohesive pieces as the unassuming tune is gilded by wistful melancholia throughout the tranquil yet illuminating passages. "Submarines Are Ugly Beasts" offers up an avant-garde tapestry of disparate textures coalescing in the creation of a free-form exchange. Concluding Common Margins are fascinating reworkings of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watch Tower" and the traditional "Shenandoah." The former stands out as the striking rearrangement is derived upon Sokolowski and Reynolds' ingenuity and consummate ability to give and take. The opening keyboard progressions conjure Donald Fagen's introduction to "Deacon Blues" or "Home at Last," while the guitar punctuates a delicate balance between the familiar melody line and some otherwise truly exceptional interaction.

Common Margins, Michael Sokolowski
View In iTunes
  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: 12 October 1999

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