A true music lover typically has dreams that their favorite musicians, who do not normally work one with another, will meet and perform together. I had a dream many years ago that the two Giants of contemporary improvised music, Joëlle Léandre and Barry Guy play a double bass duo together. And my dream became true at the 2017 Ad Libitum in Warsaw in Festival, and was released by Fundacja Słuchaj! on a phenomenal 3 CDs box “Blue Horizon ● Barry Guy@70”. Here is another dream realized by Fundacja Słuchaj! – on “String Fables” Barry Guy encounters Jordina Millà.
Barry has a long experience working in piano trios and piano bass duos: from Howard Riley Trio in the 1960s, through Ithaca Trio with Marilyn Crispell and Paul Lytton, to Aurora Trio with Agustí Fernández and Ramón López, or more recent trio with the phenomenal Japanese pianist, Izumi Kimura and Gerry Hemingway, also on Fundacja Słuchaj!.
The most impressive piano-bass duo of recent years are with Agustí Fernández, who is, in a sense, a mentor of Jordina. They both play improvised piano, they both played prepared piano, they both oscillate between abstraction and lyricism – yet the music of Jordina is completely different, completely original and absolutely not comparable to anything else. When I first listened to her debut album “Males herbes” (Sirulita), I wrote on the Facebook: „I experienced today a birth of a star, better to say a supernova.” Indeed, Jordina grew up to become a legendary figure of Catalan scene immediately. Her way of tuning abstraction to sound lyrical is absolutely unique and uncompromising. In this sense she is an ideal partner to Barry, whose approach to the lyrical side of life is similar. Both of them can be extremely lyrical, sad and melancholic without any simplicity and any loss of abstract complexity.
String Fables is a masterpiece presentation of the joint concept of this music: lyrical abstraction/abstract lyricism. For me, this is one of the most beautiful piano-bass records of the century!”
Recorded July 16th 2021 Studio Rosazul, Barcelona
Mixing & Mastering by Ferran Conangla at FCM Studio, Barcelona
Photos: Barry Guy by Francesca Pfeffer, Jordina Millà by Aina Lesan
Liner notes: Maciej Lewenstein
Cover Design: SEMAFOR
Executive Producer: Maciej Karłowski
Supported by: Departament de Cultura de la Generalitat de Catalunya & Gesellschaft zur Verwetrung von Leistungsschutzrechten
Barry Guy plays exclusively on Thomastik Strings
Special thanks to : Agustí Fernández & Maya Homburger