Andreas Fulgosi & Carlo Mascolo

Losca Mio Gulfos
Creative Sources CS 523 CD

Testing the capabilities of building a series of improvisations from the textures of two low-pitched instruments are Swiss baritone guitarist Andreas Fulgosi and Italian Carlo Mascolo, who extends his trombone inflections with rubber tubes. Another instance of EU cooperation, the nine intriguing tracks were recorded in Lisbon.

Young veterans of the European scene, Fulgosi has collaborated with everyone from Albert Mangelsdorff to choreographer Sibylla Klein, while Mascolo’s playing partners range from Carlos Zingaro to Jean-Marc Foussat. Recorded live, imaginative musicianship becomes more obvious as the session evolves and the playing gets deeper and more nuanced. Initially Fulgosi long-lined sound sprays and thrumming fills mixed with Mascolo’s guttural plunger lines and trebly vocalized asides fluctuate between straight-ahead story telling that could have come from Bob Brookmeyer and Jim Hall to buzzing and stinging roars that suggest some variation of Paul Rutherford’s meetings with Derek Bailey.

Soon, with the trombonist letting loose with braying grace notes and rubato extensions that are matched with casually expressed string twists and distortions, the interface become more sinewy and startling. Beginning mid-way through with “Oficina De Canalizador” until the last tone is sounded on “Maçaneta Da Porta” invention remains constant. Especially notable is “Oficina De Canalizador” itself, where a thumping brass continuum with minimal slide movement gives the guitarist an aural arena for note-pushing neck-clasping and sustained slurred fingering; or “One Way”, a trombone/tubes showcase, where the lines escalate from pedal tones to penny-whistles-like shrills Unhurried in execution, each distortion is also propelled in a matter-of-fact fashion.

This understated virtuosity extends into the concluding “Maçaneta Da Porta”, where Fulgosi alternates between rhythm guitar strums and a walking ground bass line in order that Mascolo’s husky extended slurs, rapid-yelps and near glossolalia are framed and then joined. Eventually the high-pitched brass multiphonics and thundering string pulsations end at a similar point of dramatic confluence.

Out of the ordinary instrumental blends drawn out by two sophisticated players has been created this fascinating program that would surprise only those – and there should be fewer – who don’t know these musicians’ work.

—Ken Waxman

Track Listing: 1. Left Behind 2. Inside Besside 3. Algés 4. And Why 5. Depois Da Chuva 6. Oficina De Canalizador 7. First Dive 8. One Way 9. Maçaneta Da Porta

Personnel: Carlo Mascolo (trombone and tubes) and Andreas Fulgosi (baritone guitar)