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Úvodní stránka » RECORDS » Roscoe Mitchell, Tony Marsh, John Edwards
Roscoe Mitchell, Tony Marsh, John Edwards — Improvisations (2013)

 Roscoe Mitchell, Tony Marsh, John Edwards — Improvisations (2013)

Roscoe Mitchell, Tony Marsh, John Edwards — Improvisations
ψ   It’s only with patience that I begin to hear the strand of actual momentum zig-zagging its way through a seemingly stop-start improvisatory traffic jam, and while it all feels helplessly fragmented to start with, the trio’s perverse shared interpretation of stream of consciousness seeps through as time passes, with a bastardised grace existing in the stark frictions of positive and negative space. Muscles slump into momentary endings, exhaled breaths flat-pack their host lungs in a mere heartbeat, and yet for all the performance’s clunk and collapse, there is no doubting the fact that each player is intensely transfixed by the characterful motion of the other two.
Location: Chicago, Illinois, US ~ Mills College in Oakland, California
Album release: November 11, 2013
Record Label: OTOroku
Duration:     66:34
Tracks:
01 Side A     16:24
02 Side B     16:11
03 Side C     17:29
04 Side D     16:30
REVIEW
Written by: Stewart Smith (25 August 2013, updated 3 Sep 2013)
ψ   Double album documenting 2012 Cafe Oto residency by avant-garde jazz lynchpin
Score: ****
ψ  Roscoe Mitchell is one of the most challenging thinkers in jazz, whether as soloist, composer or member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. This superb double album documents his 2012 residency at London’s avant-garde hub Cafe Oto, joined by bass virtuoso John Edwards and percussionist Tony Marsh, who tragically passed away two months after the event. As such, Improvisations stands as a fitting tribute to Marsh, whose idiosyncratic approach — he played a jerry-rigged set of suspended drums, with no hi-hats or kick — makes him an inspired foil for Edward’s head-spinning bass inventions and Mitchell’s strident blend of skewed melody and extended technique. This is music that demands the listener’s concentration, but it’s well worth the effort, as Mitchell leads you through solar systems of richly textured sustained tones and giddy feats of circular breathing, his mercurial rhythm section following headfirst into the constellation. (http://www.list.co.uk/)
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ψ   In the 1970s, Roscoe Mitchell was a founding member of both Chicago’s AACM collective and the seminal Art Ensemble of Chicago. Forty years on, he continues to evolve as a composer, bandleader, and instrumentalist. He’s become a soloist of almost unparalleled creative facility, and that’s seldom been better evidenced than in the four live improvisations comprising this new set.
ψ  Improvisations (OTOroku) documents the first of Mitchell’s two nights at London’s Cafe OTO in March 2012. It is issued on Cafe Oto’s in-house label, OTOroku, on vinyl and/or via download.
ψ   This was Mitchell’s first visit to the venue, and he formed a new trio for the stand with London-based drummer Tony Marsh and double bassist John Edwards. They proved to be exceptionally simpatico, as I paid witness in my review of the second night. (Marsh and Edwards know each other well, and regularly make a trio with Mitchell’s co-leader of the Transatlantic Art Ensemble, saxophonist Evan Parker.)
ψ   Marsh’s contribution was outstanding. Playing what OTOroku describe as a “jerry-rigged suspended percussion set-up (no kick or hi-hats)”, he put in a powerfully incisive and imaginative performance, so it was doubly shocking to anyone who witnessed those shows when he died unexpectedly just a few weeks later.
ψ   Improvisations presents Marsh’s last documented performances. It carries a dedication to his memory, but it’s the music that best attests to his inimitability.
ψ   The four side-long performances present what are effectively four quarter-hour variations on the same open-form game-plan: improvisations that are, at first, busy yet deceptively relaxed, becoming knotty by accretion and increasingly agitative, until Mitchell’s saxophony spills over into literally breathless torrents of sustained circular breathing.
ψ   Once Mitchell’s in spate, the ever-creatively industrious Edwards’ rhythmics and Marsh’s timpanistic colorations flesh out the sound field and modulate dynamics. My review notes Marsh’s “exquisite sensitivity” and the “subtleties behind Edwards’ surface aggression”, and those qualities are fully in evidence already on the earlier date.
ψ   Recording and mixing was handled in-house by OTOroku, who did an excellent job. On occasion the mix doesn’t favour the bass, but that’s a fair reflection of the live sound, and the physical immediacy of Edwards’ sound isn’t readily overshadowed in any case.
ψ   The occasional sonorous clatter of empty bottles on OTO’s concrete floor will spark memories for anyone lucky enough to have witnessed these one-off concerts, which by general consensus were highlights of the year. (http://dalstonsound.wordpress.com/)
Label: http://otoroku.cafeoto.co.uk/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/experimedia/roscoe-mitchell-tony-marsh
ROSCOE MITCHELL
Born: August 3, 1940
Origin: Chicago, Illinois, US
Instruments: Reeds, Percussion, Flute, Saxophone
Interview: http://www.furious.com/perfect/roscoemitchell.html
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Roscoe Mitchell, Tony Marsh, John Edwards — Improvisations (2013)

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