All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

341

Alex Maguire Sextet: Brewed in Belgium

By

Sign in to view read count
Alex Maguire has built an extremely strong reputation as a multi-faceted keyboard player over the past few years. He has, in addition to small band settings like this one, held the keyboard chair in the late drummer Pip Pyle's group Bash! and, after that, participated in a reunion tour of Canterbury legend Hatfield and the North. He also developed a technique of playing he calls "comprovisation"—a blend of spontaneity and structure that he demonstrates in spades on this live recording.

Maguire has fine chops and an aggressive approach to playing in any context, largely unheard since the heyday of folks like keyboardists Mike Ratledge and Dave Stewart, but here he does not demonstrate Ratledge's overt chops or Stewart's harmonic sophistication. He does, however, clearly possess a knowledge of straight-ahead jazz forms that exceeds that of either of these formidable players.

Maguire toys with texture a great deal, choosing between piano and organ settings of his digital keyboard in a convincing way, the organ settings in particular adding a gurgling and cushiony (in the best possible sense) environment for the other musicians. His chops are authoritative and the accompaniment by the rest of the assembled group is sensitive and potent, with special mention going to the gutbucket exclamations of saxophonist Robin Verheyen on the opening "Psychic Warrior."

The material is quite good, but it does seem to wander periodically, though it quickly recaptures its focus. More experience working as a unit might be necessary to correct some of its roughness, but these performances are a good fit for those looking for musical spontaneity.

Brewed in Belgium comes highly recommended—probably not the definitive album by this group of players, but certainly very worthy of attention nonetheless. The Soft Machine overtones alone make it well worth checking out, given the relative lack of appropriate contemporary role models for those interested in this kind of music.


Track Listing: Psychic Warrior; John's Fragment; Saturn; Theresa's Dress; Pumpkin Soup; Seven for Lee.

Personnel: Alex Maguire: acoustic piano, synth; Michel Delville: synth guitar; Jean-Paul Estievenart: trumpet, flugelhorn; Robin Verheyen: soprano and tenor saxophone; Damien Polard: bass guitar; Laurent Delchambre: drums.

Title: Brewed In Belgium | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Moonjune Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
 

Mercy, Pity, Peace &...

MoonJune Records
2013

buy
Never Pet a Burning Dog

Never Pet a Burning...

MoonJune Records
2011

buy
Never Pet a Burning Dog

Never Pet a Burning...

MoonJune Records
2010

buy
Brewed In Belgium

Brewed In Belgium

MoonJune Records
2009

buy
Brewed in Belgium

Brewed in Belgium

MoonJune Records
2008

buy
 

Wishful Thinking

Clean Feed Records
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Ancestros CD/LP/Track Review
Ancestros
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Bitter Suite CD/LP/Track Review
The Bitter Suite
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 18, 2018
Read Ornettiquette CD/LP/Track Review
Ornettiquette
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Astral Revelations CD/LP/Track Review
The Astral Revelations
by John Sharpe
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Sound Of The Earth CD/LP/Track Review
The Sound Of The Earth
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2018
Read Return to the Future CD/LP/Track Review
Return to the Future
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 17, 2018
Read "Modern Lore" CD/LP/Track Review Modern Lore
by Gareth Thompson
Published: January 27, 2018
Read "Codex" CD/LP/Track Review Codex
by Doug Collette
Published: December 3, 2017
Read "Cycle" CD/LP/Track Review Cycle
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 17, 2018
Read "Colours of Sound" CD/LP/Track Review Colours of Sound
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 23, 2018
Read "Nahnou Houm" CD/LP/Track Review Nahnou Houm
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 28, 2017
Read "Nomadic Treasures" CD/LP/Track Review Nomadic Treasures
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 28, 2018