****RINGER OF THE WEEK****Fo’ and Mo’: ALIVE at Firehouse 12 Vol 2

This is one of the most fun “outside” albums I’ve heard in decades. The teams of Fo’ (Joseph Doubleday/vibes, Feliz Peikli/cl-bcl, RP/dr) and Mo’(Steve Wilson/ss, Eguie Castrillo/perc) deliver wild, frenzied and wonderfully virtuosic music at a 2013 gig that I wish I had been  able to catch. The virtuosity of Peikli on the clarinet on pieces like “The Lady in Black” or Chick Corea’s “Humpy Dumpty” is simply inspirational. Wild and exciting, but never losing the clarity of the mischievously difficult licorice stick.  His articulation when he bops is as clear as Buddy DeFranco, but his expressiveness is more akin to David Murray. Wilson, on the other hand, is a force unto himself. He devours the moody “Chelsea Bridge” and flies over the white caps of percussion on “Celia” and “Overjoyed” like a pelican swooping for a quick bite. Doubleday’s vibes are an excellent and melodic foil, and the percussion is used as both clarion introductions and churning wheels to keep the engine moving forward, as on the wonderfully idiosyncratic reading of Monk’s “Skippy.” Are these guys touring? Gotta see ‘em!

ONYX Records


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