Album Review

horn_bill [coll] – [Matchless]

Thurston Hunger   1/20/2008   CD, Jazz

Sonic document of a UK six way solo concert from Jan 2005 at
291 Gallery featuring five Anglo saxmen and eine clarinetter
Berliner. Two of the guys featured here blow their own horns
(indeed, they give themselves the first two tracks, or see
them as the opening artists perhaps). Nathaniel Catchpole
delivers a muscular bucking number, great straining noisy
sax, cylcing up like Speed Racer in parts. Then Seymour
Wright comes on, and is he playing with his eyelashes? What
was undoubtedly an engaging live, visual performance is a
bit hard to track by ear here. Evidently he’s doing some
very non-standard blowing, tapping, but not in a Mats
Gustafsson batten-down-the-hatches kind of way. Lou Gare
comes in with a sweet, swinging subway number. It’s the
token toe-tapper. German Kai Fagaschinski has two pieces
to start the second disc, he elongates droney notes over
bridges of soft fluttering, or even silence. The first
piece has a chirpy, squirky section about halfway in,
tea kettle sharp…and then some real nice almost backward
inhaling sounds at the end. The second relies on emptiness
more and might be tricky for radio (as with the Wright
piece). John Butcher launches with a brilliant valvy
fusillade gets sizzling for awhile, foghorn alarms, some
serious circular mantra breathing and the piece isn’t
even half over! His is an insane showcase of solo sax
glory! Something new every listen. Evan Parker rounds
things out with his cycling homage to instrument inventor
(and one time assistant to Stockhausen) Hugh Davies!

-Thurston Hunger

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