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atom tm & tobias - Grand Blue
'Grand Blue' is something very different from two artists who've periodically collaborated together for the last 20 years. In September 2011 they found themselves in the lobby of a hotel in Niigata, Japan "confronted and intrigued" by a midi and acoustic piano. In the moment, a small flash recorder was placed on a chair and recorded what would become a 2 hour improvisation played "back to back", and capturing their delicately attuned performance replete with the sounds of hotel guests passing through and even chatting to the players. The mood is serenely naïve: following an entirely unplanned and spontaneous agenda guided simply by their intuitive and sophisticated knowledge of complex chord progressions. There's a conversational fluidity and humour to their playing, so far as we even catch them chortling at each other's daintiness at one point, and each makes sure not to talk down the other player, allowing space for their respective responses and replying with instinctive timing. It's exactly the sort of serendipitous performance you'd witness and wish you'd recorded yourself, only they've actually done so, and bravo to them: it's a lovely piece of work.