Jean Martin and Justin Haynes Freedman

One of the true measures of artistic and creative ability is the discipline of limited means — what to do with a ukulele, a suitcase and a repertoire of charmingly idiosyncratic melodies whose execution has a built in tendency to fall apart? Myk Freedman's St. Dirt Elementary ensemble have long since mastered the inverse improvisation aesthetic of deconstructing into nothingness while maintaining forward motion. Haynes and Martin have not only approached Freedman's melodies with sympathy and respect but have extended the tribute to include some of the same wondrous dissolutions, as well as some taut and focused explorations. One of the aspects straightforward composition affords improvisers is the freedom to inhabit and expand without getting ensnared in complexity. Haynes and Martin have succeeded in compounding magic with more magic and opening a sunny space for all. (Barnyard)