[17 January 2014]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
Of the many CDs I have stockpiled in my basement, there are plenty that I consider to be masterpieces. One of them features both Brandon Ross and Stomu Takeishi, the two musicians who make up the acoustic duo For Living Lovers. But that masterpiece, Where’s Your Cup by Henry Threadgill and Make a Move, may not be an adequate springboard for some light listeners wanting to dive into Revealing Essence. With just Ross on acoustic guitars and sometimes banjo and Takeishi on acoustic bass, this is about as subtle as organic sounds can get.
But for listeners who relish in the details, they will undoubtedly recognize Threadgill’s “interval” influence in the way the duo hardly ever repeats an idea. The harmonies get skewed all over the place, but the soft setting may trick you into passing it by. So is it high art or just a bunch of practicing? Find out for yourself. And before you reach your conclusion, consider the combined resumes of these two men. Speaking for myself, Ross is on another one of those masterpieces in the basement office.