Watching this live footage of drumming god, Bill Bruford and the exceptionally talented Dutch keyboardist Michiel Borstlap in action, signifies exhilaration personified. Essentially the musicians’ intrinsic communication is at a level that would intimate much more than just technical expertise. Recorded live at two venues in Holland, the DVD package features a separate audio-only CD. For this performance, Borstlap’s primary vehicle is a grand piano, as he also uses a synth keyboard for textures and loops, featuring a few wraithlike spoken work overlays. And from a cinematic perspective, the camera crew enlivens the totality of the viewing experience by frequently zooming in on the artists’ hands. For instance, it’s a joy to get a close up look at Bruford’s amazing stick control and unique polyrhythmic maneuvers. He also sets his drums up in horizontal fashion, appearing as a level surface with no easily discernible angles or tilts.
At times, Borstlap might spark a thought or two of Rachmaninoff mushrooming out of the classical idiom with some turbulently executed jazz-based crescendos and lightning fast single note runs. Yet, the duo varies the pitch, spanning blistering unison choruses to delicate improvisations, where Bruford will break out his brushes amid colorific cymbal swashes. It’s partly about sheer power framed with tenacity to coincide with the musicians’ playful call and response episodes, featuring bouncy Latin grooves and hypnotic ostinatos. And the duo generates some jazzy swing vamps in spots. Nonetheless, the audience in attendance was often stupefied with these truly, bedazzling live performances!
95 minute DVD filmed in two locations in Holland, featuring a companion audio-only CD.