Cadence Magazine, Jan Feb March 2016
Review: Ken Aldcroft & Scott Thomson "Red & Blue" (TRP-DS03-021)
BY: Bernie Koenig
I recently reviewed two CDs with Aldcroft playing in a larger ensemble. Here he is in a duo format. The opening sounds like two musicians each stating their own thing and then, near the end of the first short piece, coming together in a conversation. The second piece starts off with some nice noises on trombone and Aldcroft adds his voice. Like so many improvised pieces it goes through a series of changes in mood, but the two stay in conversation with each other.
The second "Red" is the highlight of the CD, partly because it is the longest and partly because it goes through a number of different tempo and mood changes. Most of the time, the two maintain good conversations, but every once in a while it sounds like each of the players continues on with what he was doing even when the other player changes. As a free player I know this happens all the time. It is not meant as a criticism as much as an observation. But, the piece does go on a bit too long with too many changes in direction, another common happening in free music.
The last "Blue" is a bit slower and moodier. At times it sounded to me as if the two players needed to play more but didn't have all much new to say. Maybe it can be heard as a sum up of what had gone before.
I like some of the sounds Thomson makes with his horn and I like many of the melodic lines that Aldcroft plays. But the highlight of the CD is their interplay.