148

Spring Heel Jack: Amassed

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
The duo of John Coxon and Ashley Wales, known as Spring Heel Jack to the drum'n'bass crowd, walked out of the jungle on last years Masses recording, eschewing programmed beats for the more esoteric sounds found in free jazz. Like a military band meets a fluxus happening, their ‘nu’ sound for Matthew Shipp’s Blue Series left dance beats behind for a more spontaneous approach to music making.

This year's effort maintains their new philosophy of sound, more noise - no dance, in another ambitiously creative effort. Where last year’s Masses employed mostly American artists, this disc features almost entirely a European cast. Coxon and Wales organize groupings in less dense circumstances this time. The duos, trios, quartets, and quintets are preamble for the dramatic final piece “Obscured,” with its full cast, energized- pulse resolution.

Before the listener gets to the mammoth finale, the producers have addressed varying free pieces for your consideration. The smaller lineups and sparser landscape makes for more interesting listening. Evan Parker’s familiar saxophone jumps to the foreground on the seven tracks he sits in on. Highlights include his soprano duo dance with guitarist Spaceman on “Maroc” and his slippery tenor work on “Duel” against the backdrop of Han Bennink’s urging snare and the samples SHJ tosses at him that repeat as if they were a car alarm.

Kenny Wheeler gets treated to an odd casio tone and the sounds of tearing paper (or is it that a tape dispenser?) to replicate the sounds of fire behind his gentle trumpet lines. Coxon and Wales have successfully shed the predictable for the random. They bring the noise now with less forecast. Tossing bells against Matthew Shipp's retro-Fender Rhodes. This is a meeting of acoustic with the metallic. The dance club has been deconstructed into the factory. A sound probably not within the comfort zone of SHJ’s earlier fans. But a welcomed addition to the nu jazz that has been new and invigorating for the last forty years.


Track Listing: Double Cross; Amassed; Wormwood; Lit; Maroc; 100 Years Before; Duel; Obscured.

Personnel: Han Bennink

Title: AMaSSED | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Falando Docemente" CD/LP/Track Review Falando Docemente
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 13, 2017
Read "Supreme" CD/LP/Track Review Supreme
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Behind The Mist" CD/LP/Track Review Behind The Mist
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 30, 2017
Read "Greatest Hits" CD/LP/Track Review Greatest Hits
by Doug Collette
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "Live" CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 14, 2017
Read "Hush Point III" CD/LP/Track Review Hush Point III
by Budd Kopman
Published: January 8, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.