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"This set has plenty of stimulating and unpredictable interplay by the two giants..."
--Scott Yanow in L.A. Jazz Scene


"Marilyn Crispell's first love remains high-energy free improvisation, her exquisite pianism allows her to cover a broad spectrum of music with equal facility. Her concert with alto saxophonist Berne is... intriguing... The duo format pushes both participants to a more expressive use of dynamics, including silence, than is normal in their ensemble music. Of course, certain stylistic elements carry over too: in particular, Berne's liking for vamps fits neatly here with Crispell's preference for playing against strong rhythms. There is a powerful rapport evident in the intense dialogues of Bass Voodoo but it is the bluesy ruminations of Sorrow that provoke the disc's most striking exchange, coaxing an inspired lyricism from Berne's alto and untypically stark beauty from Crispell's piano."
--Graham Lock in Gramophone

"Berne's phrasing, inflections and rhythmic language speak directly of the jazz tradition and its evolutions, of Parker, Coleman, Braxton... Crispell's fluency is such that she maintains the character of her own playing while framing Berne and Houle as sympathetically as any pianist might, adding other dimensions to each... In Crispell's duet with Berne, recorded at the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival in 1992, each brings three compositions to the meeting. Berne's strengths are rhythmic emphasis and the fine clarity of his musical thought, an attentiveness to the structural possibilities in linear playing. The lyrical and the analytic, the vocal cry and the industrial noise live in close proximity in his alto playing. His compositions develop complexity out of attention to detail, shifts in rhythmic inflections, adjustments in pitch, and patterns set against one another. His bittersweet, yearning voice comes out strongly in the more melodic compositions that Crispell contributes to the performance."
--Stuart Broomer in Coda Magazine

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