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Nick Cain starts his liner notes to Bridge Out! with the words: "Don't call it a comeback." Well, I'm sorry, but that's just what it is -- and twice over. Not only is this a comeback for the Flaherty/Colbourne duo, after a ten-year hiatus, but this album also marks Randy Colbourne's return to the drum kit, after exploring the clarinet for a decade. In the meantime, Flaherty has experienced a significant increase in profile, mostly thanks to another sax/drums alliance, this one with Chris Corsano. Bridge Out! was recorded in Colbourne's home studio in a one-day session. It is a generous and intense 70+minute platter. Flaherty is in fine shape, exploring the full range of his expressive palette, from lovable instant melodies to angst-driven grunts. The surprise here is Colbourne, in better shape than ever, rolling over the drum kit at light speed -- his stint as a clarinetist has added a jazz-like melodicism to his playing reminiscent of Rashied Ali. The album has been assembled as two separate sets (and you might actually want to take a 20-minute break at mid-point). The first set's highlight is "Scorched Onslaught," actually not as all-out as its title may imply, and the short episode of cymbal bowing entitled "Ice Spike." The 17-minute "Marauding Toxic Fungus" features some very strong moments, but also some surprisingly weak interplay in some places. The second half kicks off wonderfully with the 14-minute "Gilded Plague." Also worth mentioning is "More Lasting than Bronze," which starts with a very mellow sax intro, then simmers beautifully under Flaherty's breath. With the reissue of his first-ever session (Orange's In the Midst of Chaos) and the rekindling of this duo, 2008 was a slightly nostalgic year in Flaherty's discography. Yet, there is nothing nostalgic about the music on Bridge Out!; it is all about fire music in the here and now.