Should you want to explain the word “harmony” to someone speaking a foreign language, just let them sample the new CD by Tom Götze and Stephan Bormann.
These two musicians are professors at the Dresden Conservatory. They created the so-called “The 10 String Orchestra” from a dialogue between a bass and a guitar, and it reveals a deep and impressive joint understanding for sound, dynamics and rhythm. Götze plays the double bass, and Bormann the guitar, with equal affinity for steel and Nylon strings. The two take their listeners to a fascinating and multifaceted musical place, where jazz, world music, classical and pop meet, and they always manage to surprise them and put their own spin on the music. Their own compositions include subtle quotes from melodies that suggest Arab or Spanish music, Latin American beats and jazzy harmonies, into which they weave various rhythms and a host of different musical patterns, thus developing their own, singular musical language.
The recording is reinforced by three pieces, one by Phil Collins (In the Air Tonight), one by Henry Mancini (Two for the Road), and one by Johann Sebastian Bach (Air), on the surface incompatible musical contradictions, but whose clever arrangements make them fit perfectly into the overarching musical concept.
It’s musical pleasure of the highest order.