Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Listen: Steve Gunn & Mike Cooper - "Saudade Do Santos-o-Vehlo"

Singer/songwriter Steve Gunn is certainly having a busy year.  After putting out his Paradise of Bachelors debut Time Off last year, he's already prepping to release its follow up Way Out Weather in the fall of this year. What's more sometime in between the production of that record, he somehow had time to work on not one but two collaborative LPs that also came out this year. One with fiddler Mike Gangloff and the other with one of Gunn's own influences British guitarist Mike Cooper.

"Saudade Do Santos-o-Vehlo" is for most, the amuse-bouche to Gunn & Cooper's collaboration and for me at least a much needed/belated introduction to Mike Cooper - a man whose been consistently releasing music for the past 50 years. Cantos de Lisboa, the 11th installment in RVNG Intl's Frkwys series, finds the duo teaming up in Portugal of all places for a set of improvisations inspired in part by the Portuguese culture and their surroundings but also by the two's shared musical backgrounds in folk, jazz, and blues.

"Saudade Do Santos-o-Vehlo" is an instrumental ramble not entirely out of Gunn's normal oeuvre. Cooper & Gunn are in total creative consonance, swirling about and meshing together fluidly enough that you can't really tell which melodic lines are Cooper's and which are Gunn's. You have your guesses but for the most part, the two are in perfect sync feeding off of each other's flourishes. It's a track that could very well go on forever and kind of does, considering it ends with a fade; never quite reaching a true resolution.

Steve Gunn & Mike Cooper's collaborative album Cantos de Lisboa is out now on RVNG Intl

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