Pat Thomas is one of the most extraordinary pianists of our time. In a first-time duo with saxophonist Matana Roberts, the lyricism of his distinctly dexterous and curious approach to the piano paints pathways for Robert’s poignantly vocal saxophone. Together the two speak; locked grooves and neat switchbacks on the keys form dialogue with long deliberate lines on the alto, punctuated by Roberts’ ecstatic vocalizations. The trio of improvised pieces which make up the record’s first side are rich phrases, pitched at each end of the piano and stretched and pulled by Pat. His simple, repetitive cycles yield space and color for Robert’s song, then let sounds build to a flourish; an armed run on the keys and some wonderfully soft landings. The second side, a whole part in itself, goes deeper — hammered armfuls of piano and torn top breath blasting from Roberts fall in a flutter of delicate keystrokes. Call and response halves collide in a wonderful thunder before finding the edge of another line to hang onto. There is a remarkable sense of purpose, precision and restraint at play, as well as a peaceful milieu, which no doubt stems from the two players’ fierce individual intelligence, creativity and curiosity. Personnel: Pat Thomas – piano; Matana Roberts – alto saxophone. Housed in a screen printed kraftboard sleeve. Photographs by Dawid Laskowski and Fabio Luguro; Design and layout by Maja Larrson. Recorded by James Dunn live at Cafe OTO on December 8th, 2018. Mixed by James Dunn. Mastered by Giuessepe Ielesi. 180 gram vinyl.