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Jean-Marc Foltz w/ Matt Turner & Bill Carrothers - To the Moon

Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes

Random-picking in the accumulated promos of circa three years anteceding this date can yield an emotional harvest of the finest kind. Take for instance this heartrending work, about which I had to do a modicum of serious research before realizing that its ten tracks are not composed but improvised. Apparently, this collection of crepuscular snapshots was influenced by a brumous landscape in Minnesota, where the recording took place, the main indication to honor at the outset being to “find some music somewhere over the rainbow”.

Forget immediately any Wizard of Oz reference. We’re talking “intimate sharing” here, the concealed spot where a player might convey a rustle from the spirit, the second joins the flux with a subdued prayer, the third gathers all the impulses under a resounding aura of instrumental wisdom. Inside, few momentous movements, each gesture meant to be exactly that – not an inch more. A lone pitch can weigh a lot as vast spaces absorb brooding recollections, presumably with closed eyes. Collectively, the fusion of purpose and yearning gives birth to pictures whose grieving beauty is truly something to clutch to. “Crosses”, an unsophisticated progression outlined by the remotely sibilant cries of Foltz’s clarinet’s upper partials. “Old Pantomimes”, Carrothers preparing the piano to sound like a snare drum with slack wires. Not to mention Turner’s commitment in transforming every piece on the album into a sort of quietly dolorous chant, his gorgeous cello’s manner of speaking often acting as the assuasive voice of an enlightened guardian through the overall dimness of most acoustic environments.

To put it succinctly, this is a must-have CD, one of those belated (and still lucky) discoveries that turn an average day of worldly mundanity into an enriching fragment of time that furnishes us with a reason to keep hoping in life’s endless bag of relieving tricks.