“The Place” signifies a London theater where pianist, Chris Burn, and his ensemble, featuring an assemblage of noteworthy British free-jazz/improvising artists, performed these compositions during the “Crosswinds” festival. The opener “Presponse,” elicits notions of an avant-garde or offbeat Sci-Fi thriller due to a series of fragmented themes and brazenly stated undercurrents by saxophonist John Butcher, flutist, Jim Denley and the strings section. Furthermore, Burn renders some relatively eerie statements via his utilization of a toy piano.
In the liners, Burn mentions that Keith Rowe’s “Pollock#82,” represents “ the first time that a composer outside of Ensemble had written a piece for the group. Here, the musicians pursue mischievous evolvement, propelled by nimbly plucked strings, Butcher’s raspy-throated sax lines, and a volley of whimsically inclined call and response type exhanges. Saxophonist, Evan Parker appears on the final cut, “Blocks And Arches,” which is a work featuring circular motifs, flickering notes or as my attentive grandson stated, “the movement of cartoon-like characters” or “the sound of something spinning.” Thus, music of this ilk disproves any notions of barriers, or perhaps anything that might intimate a finite conclusion. Recommended!
Track Listing: 1. Presponse 2. The Piano Ate Card 3. Pollock #82 4. Southern Samba A Go-Go 5. Hammer Hint 6. Blocks And Arches