Eyal Maoz & Asaf Sirkis - Elementary Dialogues

Grego Edwards, gapplegatemusicreview

Eyal Maoz is not your everyday guitarist. He defies category. To call his music Fusion would be to leave out the open-ended qualities of what he does. Leader of the group Edom and a member of John Zorn’s experimental Cobra at one time, he is as unpredictable as the Cobra pieces that Zorn crafted.

There is perhaps no better place to experience that sense of “anything can happen” than on his new duet recording “Elementary Dialogues” (Ayler Download) with drummer Asaf Sirkis. The freedom of a wide-open playing field is made terrific use of for this 50-minute excursion into uncharted territory. Sirkis is a drummer that can go anywhere Maoz chooses. He’s one of those musical drummers who can conjure up a groove as well as freely phrase long drum melody dialogues with the guitarist. In turn Eyal can get into Beefheart-like jagged phrasing, or psycho-delicatessen smorgasbord structures that come to the listener soaked in distortion and electronic resonance. Then he'll turn around and conjure a quiet, delicately crafted chordal sequence of real beauty.

When improvising artists began making more intimate duo and solo recordings in the ‘70s, the initial thought was that there would be fewer constraints on the content of the music, so that ideas could freely flow and sound sculptures could be built with minimal interference from external constraints. Too many artists failed to take advantage of those opportunities. Either the inspiration was flagging or the recording conditions helped block access to the flow of musical thoughts. “Elementary Dialogues” has none of those problems. Maoz is a guitarist of great creativity and he has the perfect colleague in Mr. Sirkis. Together they fulfill the promise of what small group recordings like this were originally supposed to accomplish.

This will absolutely engage you, if you have an open mind for such things. What can I say, it just has IT.