Carla Kihlstedt / Satoko Fujii Minamo

Wondrous musicians, violinist Carla Kihlstedt and pianist Satoko Fujii have performed together at least twice this decade, and Minamo provides startling evidence of how dynamic their first meetings were. With three tracks devoted to a 2002 concert in San Francisco and a fourth documenting a near half-hour piece captured at the Wels Music Unlimited Festival in 2005, Minamo provides unique chronological context. From the bold opening flutter of notes during "Remembering Backwards” (their first time together on stage), Kihlstedt and Fujii engage in a very spirited musical conversation. It’s less call and response, however, than a unique cohesion, as both seem in complete control of the music, building and destroying sound together in discordant harmony. The earlier bombast is tempered for the patient follow-the-leader of "One Hundred and Sixty Billion Spray,” a lumbering, temperamental piece with wonderful flourishes of impassioned prowess. Three years later, things begin minimally on "Remainder of One, Remainder of Two,” with screeching violin and piano strings, notes plucked judiciously from either with tentative results. Kihlstedt and Fujii continue to paw at one another with virtuous flashes of individual power, eventually conjuring the same spirit that made their first encounter so compelling. (Henceforth)