Flugelhornist Mark Buselli and pianist Claude Sifferlen's album, Take the Mitsu, (the title, a play on the surname of Sifferlen's favorite 20th-century composer, Toru Takemitsu), is deliciously exquisite, bringing to mind similarly appealing duo recordings of Ornette Coleman and Charlie Haden (Soapsuds, Soapsuds), Arthur Blythe and David Eyges (Today's Blues), Walter Norris and George Mraz or Aladar Pegge (Drifting), and Denny Zeitlin with David Friesen in the Concord Duo Series - though the instrumentation of these duos don't coincide with that of Buselli and Sifferlen.
To make music in a duo setting presents a very real challenge of a different sort. As Sifferlen says, "Intuition plays a large role when you don't have a notion of what you're going to play or what the form is. Whoever begins is instantly committed to a motion, including sensitivity to the harmonic and rhythmic space." Nonetheless, it comes off as effortless.
Essentially it is music made on the spot; although in a few cases ( the pop standards "My Ideal" and "The nearness of You," the jazz classic "Stablemates," and an original blues) there were melodic themes and/or mentally sketchy harmonies to advance the cause.
The result is: an improvised program of nine tune that is loosely conceived - but deceptively so - and intimately executed; one that collectively embodies inviting melodies colored with iradescent harmonies that, in turn, are impressed with involved rhythmsand a multiplicity of textures, making it a creatively engaging album.