Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

305

Tony Bevan: Bruised

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
A magical and transporting, down by law, A-list masterpiece, bass saxophonist Tony Bevan's Bruised is among the very deepest and most rewarding albums to come out of the UK this year, performed by a joined at the head, heart, and hip, genre-busting, genius lineup.

It's free improvisation, Jim, but not as we usually know it—so instinctively architectural that it's hard to believe it was collectively created wholly in the moment, and is now released entirely free of overdubs, edits, or any other post-prod studio artifice (but it was, and it is). It's free improvisation for people who think they don't like free improvisation—and for those who know they do.

An acknowledged Jedi master of free music since the mid-'90s, with all the profile—or rather lack of it—that comes with the territory, Bevan's name is becoming more widely known right now through his featured participation on the Steve Reid Ensemble's mindbending mutant mutha, and international cult hit, Spirit Walk, on Soul Jazz Records.

Bruised will appeal both to devotees of Reid's free-your-ass-and-your-mind-will-follow aesthetic and to fully paid up, inner circle initiates of free improvisation. Massively, toweringly original, there are nonetheless distinct echoes of the early astral jazz of Pharoah Sanders: Bevan's masterful use of overtones, split tones, and deep down, bar-walking honks; the trippy drums and tuned percussion backdrops which are features of most tracks; the joyous lyricism of all the players; and the leisurely explorations of atmosphere, vibe, and texture. Sanders' signature motifs are brought up to the present, and into the future, by the assmilated music of the last 35 years and by live sampling and electronica.

The chemistry between the musicians is just perfect. Bevan, bassist John Edwards, and drummer Mark Sanders are of course three acutely responsive and uniquely creative group improvisors. Their lines are framed and enriched by Orphy Robinson's mostly-abstract tuned percussion (check out his marimbula, a giant bass thumb piano, on "Rhinocrat") and live sampling (the mutated steel drum reverberations shadowing the bass saxophone on "Bruised" are out of this world wonderful), and the sonic inventions of Springheel Jack electronicist Ashley Wales, a subtle, musicianly, and compelling presence throughout, especially enjoyable on "Sunhouse" and "Taxi Dance."

If you love the Steve Reid Ensemble's Spirit Walk, it's an ace high certainty you'll love Bruised just as madly, just as badly, and vice versa. Do the right thing, stay in the rhythm.


Track Listing: Sunhouse; Leviathan; Tempraville; Bruised; Taxi Dance; Rhinocrat.

Personnel: Tony Bevan: bass and tenor saxophones; Orphy Robinson: vibraphone, steel drum, marimbula, percussion, electronics; John Edwards: double bass; Ashley Wales: soundscapes and electronics; Mark Sanders: drums and percussion.

Title: Bruised | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Foghorn Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read The Influencing Machine CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Little Steps" CD/LP/Track Review Little Steps
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "Sunshine! Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Sunshine! Quartet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 13, 2017
Read "Drama" CD/LP/Track Review Drama
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 4, 2017
Read "Amour Cruel" CD/LP/Track Review Amour Cruel
by Peter Jurew
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "Color Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Color Tones
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 2, 2017
Read "Queen City Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017