Badland: The Society Of The Spectacle (2006)
This free-flowing trio has been doing its thing for about ten years amid intermittent personnel changes. The estimable bassist Simon H. Fell serves as the anchor and has been doing so for quite some time. Badland explores the dicey side of jazz and improvisation, where deft expressionism shines forth in multi-hued designs. The members of the trio pursue soft soundscapes with depth and contrast, manifested by percussionist Steve Noble's acute cymbal shadings. Fell's creaky arco bass lines and organic bass tones act as a foil to Simon Rose's scorching alto sax lines. The musicians render thrusting, circular passages as if they were attempting to exit a maze of some sort. However, they periodically desensitize the coarseness with subliminal movements and warmly stated mini-motifs.
Featuring variable shifts in tempo along with delicate fabrics of sound, this music remains unpredictable and at times mysterious. More often than not, the players soar skywardwith a vengeance. And they raise a bit of hell on "The Society of the Spectacle (Part 1) and "Mia, where Noble's rumbling rhythms underscore the trio's penchant for wreaking havoc on conventional jazz standards. The musicians' intuitive camaraderie is evident throughout. There's a divergent scope to the entire session, which firms up the sustentative elements of this first-rate outing.
Track Listing: Kittiwake; Elka; Society Of The Spectacle (Part 2); Nissa; Society Of The Spectacle (Part 1); Mia; Snipe; Reeds In The Western World.
Personnel: Simon Rose: alto saxophone; Simon H. Fell: double bass; Steve Noble: percussion.