Louis Moholo-Moholo & Marilyn Crispell Sibanye (We Are One)

These two titans of jazz-based improv had never played together before last year and their first meeting results in one of the greatest jazz discs of the year. As one would expect, this is a completely free improvisation but it’s so chock full of those circular post-Cecil motifs at which Crispell excels that you get swept up in the music’s internal logic. Both players have tremendous rhythmic dexterity but Crispell revels in this opportunity to lay down some heavy flurries and spontaneous melodies, which remain just this side of maudlin. Moholo-Moholo sure doesn’t play like someone in his mid-70s; his overall attack is lighter but this just brings out the myriad subtleties in his playing while remaining fleet. He is imbued with such swing that Crispell’s clusters gain major momentum; the duo setting allows him to really focus on tone as well. The dark cymbal work of "Improvise, Don’t Compromise” and the inquisitive, delicate tom work on "Reflect” are two instances where Moholo shows us something new, even after more than 40 years of recording. But the true triumphs of this record are the frequent supercharged energy interchanges found in "Moment Of Truth” and "Phendula,” where the combination of rhythm and melody is a physically joyous experience. (Intakt)