Playful, Fun Vocal and Trumpet Pieces from the Twins of El Dorado
There’s nothing doomed or apocalyptic about the Twins of El Dorado‘s album Portend the End. In fact, it’s a lot of fun. Trumpeter Joe Moffett and singer Kristin Slipp play off each other with a wry cameraderie and a sense of thinking outside the box. It’s a casual, low-key album. While Slipp doesn’t hesitate to use the top end of her jaw-dropping four-octave range, Moffett usually plays it pretty chill. In such a seemingly free-form, improvisationally-inclined situation, it’s unusual to hear as much communication and commitment to maintaining a mood as these two have here: they leave the squonking and rasping and extended technique to others.
A few of the songs have lyrics; most of the time, Slipp sings vocalese in her clear, direct, unaffected soprano. The majority of the tracks are on the short side. The opening cut sets the stage, Slipp bobbing and weaving in counterpoint against Moffett: it gets funnier as it goes along. Slipp opens the second number with a giant leap and then loops her part against Moffett’s nonchalant stroll, then they switch roles. The next three tunes employ a surreal, comedically tinged spoken word element.
Moffett then moves into nonchalant exploratory mode out of divergent harmonies, followed by an improvisation with an irrepressibly droll game of hide-and-seek. A marching miniature, an airy study in stratospheric vocals and the single piece here that veers toward performance art wind up the album. Prom Night Records gets credit for sending this intriguing and surprisingly entertaining collection out into the world.
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