305

Tony Bevan: Bruised

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Tony Bevan: Bruised 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 BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read The Crave CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub) CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965 CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Roots Of Unity" CD/LP/Track Review Roots Of Unity
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Thick as Thieves" CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Free for One" CD/LP/Track Review Free for One
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "December Songs" CD/LP/Track Review December Songs
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Obnoxius" CD/LP/Track Review Obnoxius
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 20, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.