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Art As Conversation: Three New Collaborative Albums

Nels Cline and Julian Lage's new collaborative album is called <em>Room</em>.
Courtesy of the artist
Nels Cline and Julian Lage's new collaborative album is called Room.

Jazz bassist Dave Holland and pianist Kenny Barron's new album, The Art Of Conversation, is one of a few new duo records that have recently caught the attention of music critic Tom Moon. Its title serves as an entry point into what Moon says is crucial when artists record collaboratively.

"The duo setting is all about conversation and only conversation," Moon says. "It completely relies on what the two participants bring."

NPR's Melissa Block spoke with Moon about The Art Of Conversation and two other double-bill releases: banjo superstars (and married couple) Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn's eponymous album and the unlikely collaboration between Wilco guitarist — and avant-garde mainstay — Nels Cline and jazz traditionalist Julian Lage, titled Room.

Hear their conversation at the audio link, and browse the music — with Moon's commentary — below.

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Tom Moon has been writing about pop, rock, jazz, blues, hip-hop and the music of the world since 1983.