Best of 2020
Jaw-dropping live recording from the Los Angeles duo otherwise well known for their collaborations with Makaya McCraven and Jeff Parker. This represents a bit of a change of pace for International Anthem too, less obviously jazz-focused (though spiritually inclined), more in line with the worlds of minimal/mod.composition and with an added improvisational element (i understand this was written and performed during the same Chicago trip). The vinyl pressing comes as a blessing here, as it's best to listen to this as two continuous pieces (your A and your B, rather than as discrete tracks) in order to appreciate this fully, the subtle percussive transitions & flourishes led by an emotionally redolent violin that combine so as to be in service to a bigger expression. This feels like grand, serious music, the players tuning into something together that when apart is otherwise beyond them. Would have been something else to have been in this room that night. If you weren't, here's the next best thing.