We look at three interesting recent offerings from Konnex. The solo and duet have, of course, been established groupings for new music ever since the late 60’s. Sometimes they can be a curse to the listener, if the performers aren’t quite up to it or ignore the virtues of brevity when they should do to opposite. Every once in a while, though, a disk comes along that eminently fulfills the promise of a minimal rostering; here it’s a duet. Allentown, Pennsylvania-based altoist Gary Hassay and his cohort acoustic bassist Paul Rogers manage to fill a CD with series of free duets that never flag, that reach for tonal variations and textures and find each target with seeming ease. Paul Rogers plucks and bows his way through some truly virtuoso efforts and brings Hassay’s textural and tonal forays into a dialogue that is intelligent and musical as well as impassioned and dynamic. There’s even a little Tuva style throat singing – just a taste. Hassay’s been around since 1978 and it is time he came into some greater prominence. According to Hassay and Rogers this session was recorded in the USA during January 2004 but took several years to see the light of day. If so, it was-and is-something worth waiting for.
- Grego Applegate Edwards, Cadence Magazine
released August 8, 2015
Gary Hassay, alto saxophone; Paul Rogers, bass. Recorded in January 2004.