The world’s best and only Drums/Japan Banjo duo return to VHF for their first LP since 2009’s monumental The Four Aims. Mick Flower (Vibracathedral Orchestra) and Chris Corsano (frequently seen with Bill Orcutt, Joe McPhee, and other luminaries) work an area that’s not really jazz, not really anything – a stream of endlessly mutating free sound, a unique mind-merge between Corsano’s nimble drums and percussion and Flower’s amplified Japan Banjo (also known as a Shahi Baaja, a type of electric Indian zither with both fretted/keyed and drone strings).
Flower cuts a highly original line, playing neither “leads” nor making drone-music. Less amplified here than on the more “heavy” The Four Aims, the strings ring out with distinct clarity in short snippets of melody and a canvas of pleasing electric sound. Corsano’s bag is to charm out a flow of thoughtful percussion engagement, rolling around on his kit, continually varying his attack and approach in conversational free-jazz style.
The Halcyon is a precious addition to a tiny discography, a fortunate event even in today’s world of small press overabundance.