In improvised sessions employing just guitar and saxophone that make up Convocation, Matt Borghi and Michael Teager have created a fantastically soothing, jazz-oriented space I’ve come to think of as lounge ambient. Not lounge in the standard sense of downtempo, but in the sense of how Teager’s supersmooth sax conjures John Klemmer and Jan Garabarek as it glides over Borghi’s processed guitar sound. Lounge in the sense of Borghi’s classic jazz guitar noodling having its say or trading leads with the sax, everything coming in quiet and wrapped in silk, just lulling you for an hour. There are five tracks here, but they neatly melt together as time slides past, with several attention-grabbing moments along the way. Teager’s fiery solo in “Constant Apex” is pure jazz joy, and his contributions to “Nebula Divide” ooze with a touch of R&B sensuality–the sax’s ever-so seductive sound in full effect. Borghi hits stride in “Precipice,” firing off runs of notes punctuated with simple, high chords he lets ring into the air. What works best here is the pure sense of balance. Both players spend time at the forefront, their time offering up both the simple and the complex. The moments of energy are well offset by long stretches of gentle calm. Borghi’s washes are warm, pillowy and deep, played to the understated side and integral as breath. This is a disc I could leave on all day. Its ambient side is textbook, unobstrusive and purely relaxing; the jazz aspects bring a rich solidity to the space, and just the right edge of funkiness. I’m going to be very surprised if this doesn’t end up on a lot of “Best Of” lists this year. You have to hear Convocation.
Available at Matt Borghi’s web site.