For Living Lovers — an improvising chamber duo composed of Brandon Ross on acoustic guitar and Stomu Takeishi on acoustic bass guitar — makes quietude feel like anything but a restriction. In a recent performance at the WBGO Yamaha Salon in midtown Manhattan, its music felt expansive and spacious, setting the stage for an immersive sort of listening.
Ross and Takeishi first met in the mid-1990s, bound by a mutual association with composer and multi-reedist Henry Threadgill. Introducing their set, I pointed out that they both appear on a list of my Favorite Jazz Shows of 2018 — Takeishi as a member of Myra Melford's Snowy Egret, and Ross as one-third of Harriet Tubman.
For Living Lovers is a different proposition entirely. The duo has released one studio album, Revealing Essence, in 2014, and its language keeps evolving. At the Yamaha Salon, the set list included "Hammer," one movement from Immortal Obsolescence, a song cycle inspired by the work of Venezuelan photographer Carolina Muñoz Parra. They also performed an Ornette Coleman composition, "Race Face," entwined with a Ross original called "O. People."
David Tallacksen, Audio Engineer; Aaron Ross, Videographer