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Upon its initial LP release, this 1984 improvising session turned more than a few heads. And it would take a fertile imagination for one to reconcile the duo's rendition of Monk's "'Round About Midnight with the original, for example. Armed with boyish enthusiasm, the artists pursue a wanton spirit through their surrealistic game plan. Of course, British freestyle vocalist Phil Minton is a well-known improviser since the advent of this date with his fellow countryman, percussionist Roger Turner. But this recording still resides as an attention-grabbing document.
At times Minton hisses like a cat, amid gurgling noises and sound-shaping activities. Needless to say, these folks march to the beat of a different drummer. However, Turner's effective cymbal shading techniques complement Minton's improvisational vocalese in a rather fruitful manner. On "Cold Storage, the percussionist's dark-toned cymbal swashes and other implementations suggest a cold and creaky environment. They conjure up images of a metal machine shop, but many of these passages sound amazingly as though they could have emanated from a digital sampler.
It's a notion that hits home, especially since Minton's vocal range and ability to mimic echo and reverb bestows uncanny similarities to elements of an electronics-based DJ mix. Elsewhere, the musicians engage in doodling and tinkering with squeaky sounds, chirps and asymmetrical rhythms. The improvisers' imagery prevails in a manner that mimics nature at work, due to Minton's plaintive cries and other digressions. This isn't casual listening, but such undeniably adventurous stuff instills a mind-bending chain of events where the tried and true gets a serious overhaul!
Track Listing: Ammo; Cold Storage; Ing-A-Ting; Feral; Rubbed and Told; Round About Midnight; Cut Face; Urgent.
Personnel: Phil Minton: vocals; Roger Turner: percussion.
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.