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New England saxophonist Rick Britto releases smart, refreshingly original album
(Published: July 08, 2011)

July 8, 2011 (Boston, MA) Written by Robert Sutton. Their words are conveyed through the language of their saxophones. Although open to interpretation, there's no denying the intellectual depth of their discussion; that can easily be sensed from the variety of tones that they express. Together they produce an electric charge in the air that hints at argumentation, mutual joy, or respectful disagreement.

Two saxophonists - Rick Britto and Erik Van Dam - have preserved their discourse on an album. Neither of the gentlemen speaks; instead, they allow their instruments to talk on their behalf. Britto and Van Dam have stumbled upon a refreshingly original and wonderfully challenging premise on Conversations with Erik & I.

With their saxophones - Britto on tenor sax and Van Dam on alto/tenor sax - they produce a collection of musical sessions that represent different types of real-life discussion. According to Britto, the conversations are modeled after debates, discussions, small talk, and banter. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the record is being able to pull the songs into those categories; that alone can create debates, discussions, small talk, and banter among listeners as only Britto and Van Dam know the correct answers.

At first, "Session # 01" seemed like a friendly discussion with Britto and Van Dam caught in a lively jam. However, as their playing grew in intensity, especially near its fiery climax, it's more like reflecting a debate. The relatively calm "Session # 02" can probably be identified as a discussion or perhaps it's light enough to symbolize small talk. On the other hand, the swirling, buzzing "Session # 03" more than suggests a disagreement taking place.

Trying to guess what Britto and Van Dam are attempting to get across actually makes listeners pay closer attention, to let their minds wrap themselves around the avant-garde dueling of the duo. But not everything is cerebral; Britto and Van Dam see the value in having fun as well as evidenced in the joyful charms of "Session # 05."

More Information: http://home.comcast.net/~rickbritto

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