Dismantling the Waterfall’ is an album of short, breath-taking improvisations by two of Europe’s finest young improvisers Matthew Bourne and Dave Stapleton.
Seventeen episodic tracks – some clipped fragments, others stunning miniatures – all linked by a seventeen line poem by Julie Tippetts. Each line provides a title, while together Julie’s words have all the elegant simplicity of a Japanese Haiku with lines where syllables would otherwise be. For this is music of combining talents and visions. Simple and stately like the poem that accompanies it, as much the result of European Art Music as of Jazz, as inspired by Paul Bley and Keith Jarrett as by Shostakovich, Ravel and Bach.
Piano duets in Jazz are rare things indeed. Hancock and Corea, Jarrett and Corea, Howard Riley and Jaki Byard, Bill Evans with himself! Perhaps their scarcity says something about Jazz musicians’ reluctance to face the potential clash of egos that could so easily arise. For this partnership – and that is what it is – the parallels lie most immediately in Keith Tippet’s duets with Stan Tracey and also with Howard Riley. Like those examples, Dismantling the Waterfall is a meeting of musical minds and improvisational values. It is, as Julie’s poem suggests, a matter of light and shade. Dismantling the Waterfall will draw the listener into its own Empire of Light.