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Many Axes is the brainchild of Susan Rawcliffe, who makes ceramic flutes based on centuries-old instruments. After learning the instruments she creates, Rawcliffe jams with wind player Scott Wilkinson and percussionist Brad Dutz, who make up the rest of the trio.
This music is an adventure, if nothing else. The players create a variety of sounds from these clay instruments, adding just what they want, when they want it. Though the music is based in a free environment, it does not fall completely within the confines of jazz. Rather, the trio works from a world music perspective, making sounds that work from a very primitive base at times or more complex styles, such as East Indian forms, at others. This certainly makes for an interesting record, but it lacks the depth and complex ideologies that make up jazz.
That aside, 2 Many Axes is a bit of a monotonous disc that really may require only a single listen. The trio certainly develops a novel idea, creating sounds that you are not going to hear anyplace else. As with other similar projects, the lack of form just does not carry the ideas provided all that far. It's worth a listen, but this material is probably conveyed better live.
Track Listing: March of the Whales; Circuspace; Pillbug's Nightmare; Drama Diary; Entropy; Roll Over
Johann; Mastodon Stew; Unheard Melodies; Buried There; Dali Comma; Puddle; Popping
Beetles; Anti Carlos.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.