Few could imagine in 1972, when bassist Barry Guy first convened the London Jazz Composers Orchestra, its future impact as a large ensemble. When he chose to work with a "new orchestra in 2000, the scope was condensed, 10 players doing the work of what had been 20, but surprisingly was no less expansive.
Barry Guy New Orchestra
With his New Orchestra, Guy has brought together a international tentet - Evan Parker, Mats Gustafsson, Hans Koch, Johannes Bauer, Herb Robertson, Augusti Fernandez (replacing original pianist Marilyn Crispell), Per-Åke Holmlander, Paul Lytton and Raymond Strid. These are not improvisational lightweights, having experience in a wide variety of settings, often with each other. Two things stand out in contrast from the 2000 recording Inscape - Tableaux (Intakt). Rather than seven shorter "parts of the 2000 disc, Oort-Entropy has three, allowing for more exposition within sections. And overall the time is almost 15 minutes less, making succinctness within expansion a necessary feature, masterfully accomplished. Pay attention to the most stimulating front line of horns (Parker, Koch and Gustafsson) in recent memory.
There is a side to Guy unique to most players known as 'free' - a love for the wonderful sonorities of composed classical music. In 1997 with baroque violinist Maya Homburger, Guy recorded Celebration (ECM), featuring his own compositions for bass and violin. Dakryon continues this format with greater ambition. Three songs by Guy fill out a program of music from the 17th century by composers H.I.F. Biber and Dario Castelli; Strictly composed music, courtesy of Homburger, is mixed with Guy's incomparable improvising. The bonus is the addition of drummer Pierre Favre, veteran of solo percussion explorations. The format changes throughout the disc: trio, solo violin, duos of bass and violin or percussion and even a closing percussion solo. Taken alone, Dakryon is forceful and dynamic. Taken together with Oort-Entropy, it shows what a broad swathe of musical terrain Barry Guy cuts.
Tracks: Part i; Part ii; Part iii.
Personnel: Barry Guy: director, bass; Agusti Fernandez: piano; Evan Parker: tenor, soprano saxophones; Mats Gustafsson: baritone saxophone; fluteophone; Hans Koch: bass clarinet; Johannes Bauer: trombone; Herb Robertson: trumpet, flugelhorn; Per Ake Holmlander: tuba; Paul Lytton: percussion; Raymond Strid: percussion.
Tracks: 1. Veni creator spiritus (03.43); 2. Passacaglia [Biber] (10.06); 3. Inachis [Guy] (13.20); 4. Dakryon [Guy] (19.25); 5. Sonata seconda [Castello] (06.18); 6. Peace piece [Guy] (07.23); 7. Crucifixion, Mystery sonata X I [Biber] (01.35); 8. Crucifixion, Mystery sonata X II [Biber] (01.52); 9. Crucifixion, Mystery sonata X III [Biber] (02.54); 10. Crucifixion, Mystery sonata X IV [Biber] (02.13); 11. Crucifixion, Mystery sonata X V [Biber] (02.09); 12. Ember [percussion solo] (01.40).
Personnel: Maya Homburger: baroque violin; Barry Guy: bass; Pierre Favre: percussion.