Home » Jazz Articles » Dominic Lash, Alex Ward: Antonyms


Album Review

Dominic Lash, Alex Ward: Antonyms


Sign in to view read count
Dominic Lash, Alex Ward: Antonyms
Can an album's contents be any less summed up by its title? While Antonyms suggests opposition, the collaboration between bassist Dominic Lash and clarinetist & guitarist Alex Ward evidences rather more empathy than contradiction. That is unsurprising given regular appearances in each other's bands as well as collective arenas going back at least to Barkingside (FMR, 2008). If the title is not referring to the principals, then perhaps it is the form of their encounters? Not really, as each brings two compositions to the date, which is completed by one cooperative invention. Charted and impromptu mingle near seamlessly throughout, scuppering any easy demarcation.

The bassist's opening "Recap" starts the set on a high, teetering between poise and passion. Meticulously braided long tones initially produce the illusion of electronic sine waves, before Lash saws a muezzin call, answered by Ward's subtly overtone-laden upper register. They continue to shuffle between composed and improvised sections, culminating in a wonderfully conceived clarinet outing. Lash also takes a supportive role in his own "Ballast," which moves from an early chamber feel, with Ward again on clarinet, to a jazzy stroll, with Ward now on guitar. His transition between the two says a lot about the attention both pay to detail, as a clear clarinet sustain transmutes into the exact same pitch created from guitar feedback.

The jointly birthed "Gegenwort" presents much more of an equal dialogue as strangulated clarinet twists vie with arco swipes across the full breadth of the fingerboard in a spirited interaction which recalls some of Anthony Braxton's tandem sessions with the likes of John Lindberg or Joe Fonda. That same combination of woodwind and bowed bass holds sway on Ward's "Right Shoes," where a percussive intro launches a jerky, perky unison, before flying free. Electricity engenders more aggression when Ward unleashes his guitar chops on "Unfriendly Manoeuvre," as his pedals and effects conjure convulsing distortion and scrabbling skronk.

The pair's ability to shift fluently between different modes, all the while maintaining an ear for the unexpected, casts no further light on the title, but speaks volumes about their shared chemistry. Perhaps they just liked the word.

Track Listing

Recap; Ballast; Gegenwort; Unfriendly Manoeuvre; Right Shoes.


Dominic Lash: bass, acoustic; Alex Ward: multi-instrumentalist.

Additional Instrumentation

Alex Ward: clarinet, electric guitar.

Album information

Title: Antonyms | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Copepod Records

Post a comment about this album

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.



Fractal Sextet
Fractal Sextet
Blue Moka


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.