Live KFJC 2007 starts off with metallic gonging sounds from z'ev, which are quickly joined by clicking pad sounds from Steve's tenor. Mackay does not stay there long. He plays a Bluesy statement shortly thereafter, which in many ways sets the tone for this set. It's not that there aren't plenty of moments of fiery abstraction from the two masters of the their craft; indeed, plenty of moments of energetic wailing, especially from Mackay, occur. That said, as I've listened, it's struck me just how earthy and, again, blue, so many of the sounds on this recording are. Disaster Amnesiac hears a lot more Ornette than Pharaoh, let's put it that way. I'm pretty sure that there's a Lonely Woman quote at some point, even. Steve is by no means subdued with his playing. It's just quite contemplative much of the time. z'ev does a great job of matching Mackay's sax language. I've marveled at his ability with accompaniment on here. At times, Disaster Amnesiac has thought to myself "...z'ev plays the Blues...", mostly on account of just how in the pocket his playing is throughout. Aside from some short bursts in which his partner lays out, z'ev sounds content to lay down relatively quiet percussive patterns and drones alongside the sax. As usual, it's all he really needs to do: when z'ev's playing, one is bound to feel it, whether piano or fortissimo. The essential quality of z'ev's musical adeptness, shown by the way in which he can mesh with another player, is a huge revelation here. I realize that he spent a lot time in his later years playing in combination with other musicians. Still, that point really comes out on Live KFJC 2007.
This relatively short release features two committed and proven musical greats, melding their aesthetics into an earthy and subtle statement. Right at the end, as they introduce each other, you'll realize, again, that they've both left us. Lucky for you and I both, they left us with recordings such as this. Cue it up and drift on off.