If there were such a thing as minimalist jazz, it could fairly be said that drummer George Hadow and guitarist Dirk Serries have come close to perfecting the subgenre. The duo’s new album, which drops on Raw Tonk Records July 7, is a staggering, conscious-raising, zig-when-you-thought-they’d-zag winner.
To describe this disc as minimalist has more to do with its limited instrumentation than the style with which the guitar and drums are played. Because in fact, Hadow and Serries produce a rather enormous racket.
Unconstrained by meter, the duo presents an often-frenetic combination that won’t appeal to all tastes. But my goodness this music is brave. Listeners with a taste for what giants like Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor helped pioneer will recognize genuine artistry on these 11 tracks.
The performances – all recorded in one day at Sunny Side Inc. Studio in Anderlecht, Belgium – are purposely difficult and polished to a handsome sheen. They’re flawless really.
Whether it’s the high-energy opener “Narrow,” or more atmospheric pieces like “Out” and “Open,” Hadow and Serries are clearly comfortable improvising off of one another. It’s a thrill to hear.