This is a new release from the venerable EMANEM label which, categorically specializes in Free and Improvised music. The legendary Phil Minton has been a mainstay of the British Free Jazz movement for decades. Here, EMANEM has reissued tracks which originally appeared on Minton’s first solo effort for guitarist Fred Frith’s now defunct, “Rift” label and other tracks emanating from the early 1980’s.
Phil Minton gained considerable attention working with the famed Mike Westbrook Band. His unorthodox phrasing, improvisations and abstract vocal inventions were a perfect match for a burgeoning British avant-garde jazz scene. Minton’s second solo recording “A Doughnut in Both Hands” is a fitting testament to the unique capabilities and approach of this often misunderstood artist. The opening track “Orders For The Pals” suggests the forthcoming chain of events. Here, Minton incorporates a plaintive cry utilizing the upper register of his voice. Minton will not ordinarily stay within one motif or theme. He often starts, stops, alters the intensity, changes the mood and resumes his fascinating improvisational abilities. Minton stretches his vocal chords to almost unimaginable leaps and bounds; however, the mindset is that of an improviser. Perhaps Minton parallels the great free jazz saxophonist Evan Parker regarding improvisational technique and ingenuity. Granted, “A Doughnut In Both Hands” is not for everyone and will rarely enjoy any long-term exposure via radio airplay; however, the conceptual approach is unique and perhaps revolutionary. Minton frequently changes course during the course of 21 songs. You will hear traces of operatic librettos, yodeling, garbled speech, screeching, folksy humor and just about anything he can envision supplemented by an astonishing set of vocal chords. Phil Minton documents the history of anything and everything that can be produced by the human voice.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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