London Improvisers Orchestra: Proceedings
Proceedings by the “London Improvisers Orchestra” could also serve as a – comprehensive guide to large-scale improvisational deployment – or perhaps a nice composite glimpse of the current British Free-Jazz movement. A 2-CD set featuring a Who’s Who of modern day stylists along with those who helped write the book such as saxophonists Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill, bassist Simon Fell and others of note, Proceedings is a grand exposition of loosely composed motifs based upon on divergent topics.
Led by various conductors, the compositions are often colorful, contemplative, playfully boisterous, witty and charming, as the musicians coalesce for a series of ambitious undertakings. Within the liners there is a detailed matrix referencing the personnel and conductors while each piece is annotated and provides the listener with comments and/or frameworks for the overall mindset behind the musical - proceedings. There are two or more conductors issuing directives on many of these extended works and with “Virus”, the musicians parallel organisms as we cite the liners ...... “The two conductors are regulating organs, heart and lungs for example – In this performance the – virus – went around about half the orchestra. - At one point it was infecting several of the brass section”. Hence, these folks construct themes around unorthodox subject matter yet delve into the music with theatrical sensibilities. Throughout, the music is marked by pre-set ideologies and motifs often conveyed in whimsical or investigative fashion as the players portray vital roles within the context of the ongoing developments. Proceedings is theatrical and quite animated yet more importantly, teeming with sly ingenuity and absorbing improvisation amid lighthearted doses of fun and frolic!
* * * ½ (out of * * * * *)
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