LISA GILL / KURT HEYL – Mortar & Pestle

(Reckless Faith)

The pairing of a poetess delivering her verses with almost deadpan voice (somehow reminiscent of Annette Peacock) and an improvising trombone player who defines coyotes as his main influence could sound absurd on paper, but it works just fine in “Mortar & Pestle”. It’s a collection of 26 poems plus a final trombone/voice solo by Heyl, born from the meeting of two strangely akin sensibilities whose difference in age (Gill was born in 1970, Heyl in 1942) is not a factor in the artistic equation; indeed, Gill describes the duo as an “intense partnership” in the liners and it shows throughout. Every poem becomes a “vis a vis” dialogue, in which Heyl establishes a coherent pace for his phrasing while managing to underline, court and at times embrace his partner’s vocal presence. The poems are not transcribed on the CD booklet (although they’re recited with good intelligibility) thus I enjoyed listening to this curious album with an open attitude towards two “instruments” morphing into each other (Heyl uses his own voice and various preparations to complement the trombone’s timbre). If you want to know more about Lisa Gill visit her website ( and discover a one-of-a-kind artist.


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