The pairing of Coat Cooke and Rainer Wiens in High Wire, results in a performance of dualities. Complexity versus simplicity, density versus scarcity are all at play here. Wiens creates complex sound environments on eclectic guitars and thumb pianos while Cooke soars overhead with clear, clean lines. Interaction is evident and the music is highly listenable. Drawing on sax antecedents, Cooke’s horn moves from the lightness of John Handy to the warmth of Jan Garbarek, ultimately shifting into a voice that is singularly his own. Rainer Wiens, for his part, evokes the spirit of performers such as Fred Frith, Hans Reichel, and the band Oregon, yet also creates his own unique complexity of sound. This is a CD that sounds familiar but is new, that is comfortable but edgy, and that contains an inner harmony even in its most discordant moments. This is a mature work of sensitive improvisation at it’s finest, and currently one of my favourite CDs in this idiom.