Jim Hart_Vibraphone, Drums
Ivo Neame_Fender Rhodes, Piano
Multiverse is a new project and also the title of the debut album from two of Europe’s leading Jazz instrumentalists and most original composers. Marking a significant step up for the duo in its long history, both Ivo Neame and Jim Hart employ their vast experience of playing together for over 15 years in many different guises that sees their duo take a huge leap forward.
Over the last 15 years, both musicians have developed formidable profiles and reputations as among the most inventive and innovative instrumentalists of their generation in Europe. Multiverse is their first release to document this collaboration and it is achieved with great style, color and dynamism. Multiverse is indeed multifaceted in its instrumentation, texture and repertoire.
Collaborating in a myriad of different projects, both musicians have played in an acoustic duo on and off since they first met but it’s their collaborations as part of the Marius Neset band that has seen the integration of their talents in their duo work blossom. Multiverse has been a labor of love, an album two and a half years in the making, which showcases the musical brilliance and skill of both musicians as multi-instrumentalists.
After initial experiments as an acoustic duo, which concentrated on the flowing interplay of instruments (piano and saxophone for Ivo and vibraphone and drums for Jim), they were increasingly inspired by electronic sounds. It was this freedom to switch between instruments and sound worlds that was particularly inspiring for both musicians.
For both musicians, this duo represents an exploration, a searching journey into what music means for them as creative musicians in the 21st century. It’s about risk-taking, shared music-making and learning. It’s about knowing when to step aside and listen, when to play and when not to play. Only after so many performances, miles on the road, can musicians really get to the level where honest and genuine interplay and creativity takes place. Jim and Ivo have a deep empathy, huge respect and understanding for each other combined with a shared love of the music they make – resulting in the riches that this collaboration continues to give.
Multiverse is a uniquely soundscaped, multi-faceted album that can sweep from serene, acoustic interpretations of the music of Hermeto Pascoal and John Taylor to dystopian, electronic free jazz whilst retaining its artistic coherence. Both musicians are at their most free and honest whilst being in full command of their respective means of expression.
Photos (Dave Stapleton):