And our eyes turn their yearning gaze
Upon the distant stars,
Upon the limits of the heavens,
Wondering when a bright morn will break.
- Hovannes Toumanian
Chris Moore & Adam Shead: The Flower of Paradise
The Flower of Paradise is a welcome addition to Shead’s growing catalogue in which it is now abundantly clear that he thrives in a duo setting. This is in part due to his natural willingness to listen and breathe with another musician, let alone his innate ability to do so.
This recording introduces us to Chris Moore, a newcomer to both the Chicago improvised music scene, and to his relatively chosen mode of expression through the saxophone. He, too, acts as a natural foil in a duo setting with Shead. What we hear is a lifelong artist and listener unencumbered by the dogma of musical training, “untraining,” or the all too common “Trane-ing” expected of saxophonists by listeners for decades; for better or worse (and worse still, often enough for bitter —and/or— not forward).
Shead and Moore have cultivated a friendship, interpersonally and musically, that does not bear the weight of mentor/pupil in their music. Just as Moore has taken on new territory in music after years in the plastic arts, Shead, has conversely become an active aesthetician in his own right. Is this a byproduct of their friendship fostered? Perhaps. But I don’t think so. I think if any correlation is to be drawn, it is that what makes this album worth its salt is the same thing that makes a sculpture worth a passing glance: someone made this, and that alone asserts its validity.
released July 14, 2021
Chris Moore - Reeds
Adam Shead - Percussion
Recorded on January 20th & 27th, 2021 in Chicago, IL.
Mixed and mastered by Bill Harris.
Art by Chris Moore.