Joëlle Léandre and Nicole Mitchell - Sisters Where
- Stewart Smith
- 19 May 2014
An intimate but interstellar space jazz exploration
Recorded with French double bassist Joëlle Léandre in a Parisian apartment, Sisters Where is a more intimate affair than flautist Nicole Mitchell's recent Afrofuturist jazz suite Intergalactic Beings, but it's no less visionary, taking its titular heroines around the planets before landing, eyes blinking, 'Back On Earth'. Mitchell's playing has teeth; there's a tough, breathy quality to even her most beautiful flights, taking in metallic split tones and extraordinary vocal effects. She's more than a match for the sturm und drone of Léandre's arco bass, swooping over deep tectonic shifts, and dodging the molten debris flying from the bassist's left hand. On 'Sisters on Uranus' Mitchell makes split-second leaps from voice to flute, conjuring a glistening dialogue in alien tongues. There are shades of Holst in Léandre's prowling bass in 'Sisters of Mars', with Mitchell essaying a Nina Simone blues moan before using circular breathing to sustain long lunar notes.
Out now on Rogue Art.