The pianist Mick Rossi and the young trumpeter Russ Johnson are the most evident connecting elements of these two recent productions by ToneScience, a courageous emanation of the already known OmniTone. But the stylistic traits that characterize these two albums show different points of contact in their approach modalities to the soundtrack universe. In the neatness of the sign that cuts the air with near surgical precision, in the intentional absence of complacent elements or frills. The music presents itself naked and raw, with soft glowing moments of sporadic passion which dissolve as concentric circles in the unfolding motion of the artistic reflection. The album New Math is a dual project presenting Rossi and Johnson's approach to 9 pieces whose titles are some mysterious numbers. They are sketches of free improvisation sustained by numeric structures that are imagined and shared. They are excerpts of daily life in which two free and prolific minds meet and confront each other without ever clashing. A parallel flight of algid beauty, clinging onto impossible and adventurous surfaces. Rossi's piano is the most rooted, solid and resistant spine. Not only for the peculiarities of his instrument, for the implicit polyphonic and therefore harmonious possibilities, but most of all for the authority and serenity that rule his approach. For his courageous minimalism, for his desire to derive unthinkable sounds from his bulky instrument. For his coherent improvisational linearity which is well suited for a numerical structure. His younger colleague knows very well how to take advantage of the many tonal variations that his trumpet is able to produce, chipping the rim, blowing, marking and underlining all the different scenarios that are manifesting behind him. The melodic shreds appear to properly fascinate him, forcing him to engage in various excursions into restricted and delineated areas, where avant-garde and retro-garde or modernity and tradition don't matter anymore. Where the only thing that matters is the heart and maybe mathematics. - Maurizio Comandini

Rating: * * * 1/2 out of four.

 
 
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