Colter Frazier / Rob Wallace Duo Colter Frazier / Rob Wallace Duo

Santa Barbara’s Colter Frazier/Rob Wallace Duo played a masterful improvised set a year ago, which is captured well on this emotive new album. Recorded live at the Muse Ranch on March 18, 2007, this self-titled effort possesses musical challenges and intrigue at every turn. In many ways the lead instrument, Frazier’s tenor sax springs forward solidly, with piercing, sustained notes anchoring Wallace’s eclectic percussion flourishes. That’s how "Prelude” starts the set in any case, with Wallace almost sneaking up on Frazier with tasteful, cacophonous bursts. "The Creek” is much more conversational, with Frazier’s fluttering presence recalling Evan Parker against Wallace’s colourful use of shakers, wispy sticks and other percussive accoutrements, but its serene vibe is usurped by the powerful interaction of "Banana Sandwich.” Like its name suggests, this piece is hearty, with both men expressing themselves with the conviction of Coltrane and Jones. That brashness is tempered for "TGC,” which enables the players to stretch out together, while the "Vignettes” cycle (one to three) finds the duo exploring space with casual intensity. Otherwise unheralded, the Frazier/Wallace duo hit their mark with this inspired debut. (pfMENTUM)