Barry Guy: Symmetries (2002)
On Symmetries he displays a total command of his instrument, working the top and bottom ends to great effect. Guy challenges his listeners with inventive methods of approaching sound and playing. This recording is almost all improvised with the exception of two Charles Mingus tracks, “Weird Nightmare” and “Eclipse” and a couple others that have a distinct song form. The remaining music follows a free path of tones, pitches and ideas.
Guy follows up on his last solo record with a series of seven “Fizzles” or short, intense improvisations. These, while tending toward the extremes in music making, are instantly satisfying and digestible. His longer pieces require a bit more patience and repeated listening. On several, “Fizzles” and “Bichrome Terrors,” he emulates his fellow British Isle improviser Derek Bailey with eccentric technique and noisy touch. Other places he opts for an almost classical approach playing beautiful arco lines. His multi-track take on Mingus’ “Weird Nightmare” is haunting and majestic.
Track Listing: Whether Or Not Why Not; Soft Fire; Weird Nightmare; Bichrome Terrors; Quiescence (for K.B. and R.W.); Seven Fizzles (tracks 6-12); Odyssey; Slow Slam; Eclipse; Dark Of Light; I Have Crossed By The Grace Of The Boatman.
Personnel: Barry Guy – Double Bass.
Record Label: Maya
Style: Modern Jazz