Illmatic; OR, Lost and Found (and Brash)
Discussing the Philip Wilson/Olu Dara album Esoteric:
Horn and drums duos are one of my favorite configurations in creative music. The immediacy of a duo context totally breaks down any traditional hierarchies between wind and percussion instruments, between melody and rhythm, between composition and improvisation, between leader and sideman. While certain jazz histories present the music as a parade of individual geniuses gracing others with their brilliance, one of the most essential, and revolutionary, aspects of the music is its collective and collaborative nature. Whether its Duke Ellington’s Orchestra or Cecil Taylor playing solo, the spark of the music always comes out of some sense of community, an exchange of ideas and shared artistic exploration. For me, a successful duo outing can provide the most elemental example of this kind of interplay and dialogue.