by David Fujino April 2006
When listening to this CD, I kept hearing Chick Corea's music.
This is because Cameron Wallis and Paul Shrofel who are known as OneUpOne Down approach musical space in a similar way.
Like in Corea's music, there's a sprung rhythmic vitality with cross accents of rich impressionistic chords (especially note "Voice of Reason").
Also there's a consistent singing quality to the tunes and the solos as heard in "My Shadows".
And there's the simply gorgeous instrumental sound of these two players that fills the entire CD.
These are some of the simple sonic similarities.
But on a more personal note in the crystal-clear tune, "Even Angels Fall" we find Shrofel's piano meaningfully engaged with space and emotional tone, while Wallis is overarching and blissful on a soprano saxophone tinged with self-awareness and melancholy.
On "Nocturne", we hear the duo's moving search for meditative and clear-headed beauty, and on "Finger Painting", we experience Wallis's tenor saxophone in all its fluency, humanity, and breathiness.
With this issue of Preface, OneUpOneDown has produced, on a descriptive level, a CD of slow tempo, tonally rich tunes but they are also tunes which echo, step-like, the changing life experiences of saxophonist Wallis and pianist Shrofel.
OneUpOneDown come to think of it is all about seeking a balance.