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!

221

Paul Lytton and Ken Vandermark: English Suites

By

Sign in to view read count
Most readers are probably familiar with Ken Vandermark as he has made quite a stir in the last couple of years. The MacArthur Foundation awarded him one of their genius awards and his weekly performances with the Vandermark 5 at the Empty Bottle in Chicago have both earned critical accolades and exposed improvised music to an audience more attuned to rock. The reedist is also involved in a number of other projects including a group lead by Peter Brotzmann and the DKV Trio with Hamid Drake and Kent Kessler.

Paul Lytton has a slightly different reputation. Best known for his work with fellow Brit Evan Parker, this percussionist has played and recorded since the late 1960s and distinguishes himself by in fact being a percussionist as opposed to a drummer. Lytton does sometimes sit behind the kit but he is also apt to step away from it and play what he calls his "junk bag" of percussion instruments. The standard instruments such as cymbals and drums are found in his bags but so are items that aren't really instruments such as slabs of wood and junks of metal. The effect is usually a quite unique sound.

The two pair up on English Suites with fine results. Disc one of this two disc set is a January 11, 1999 studio recording done in Evanston, Illinois. Vandermark alternates between the more groove based playing that he has made a name for and slightly more abstract and in a "freer" fashion. Lytton runs with these moods through busy work that is attuned to what Vandermark, heard mostly on saxophone, is playing. The second disc is fruits of the duo live in concert in Hassle, Belgium on November 20, 1999. Whereas the first disc was more or less one extend performance, there are two sections here. Also, Vandermark is heard doing some slow paced shrieking here which stands in contrast to the first disc. Both sections have a meditative quality that is perhaps more of a natural element for Lytton. The percussionist seems more comfortable as he throws in clashing pieces of metal and strikes cymbals in a way designed to produce something other than the most aesthetically pleasing outcome. Vandermark recorded this disc himself and did an excellent job. Listeners with a good stereo system or headphones are likely to almost feel that Lytton is going at it live in the room.

There is nothing too ground breaking here but English Suites would serve as a good introduction to Lytton's work and any fan of either Vandermark or Lytton will want to pick it up.

Visit Wobbly Rail on the web.


Title: English Suites | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Soul Note

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Contra la indecision CD/LP/Track Review Contra la indecision
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Vessel in Orbit CD/LP/Track Review Vessel in Orbit
by Don Phipps
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Pulse/Quartet CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "Far from Over" CD/LP/Track Review Far from Over
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 8, 2017
Read "Pekka" CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: October 26, 2017
Read "Tether" CD/LP/Track Review Tether
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 12, 2017
Read "Tipico" CD/LP/Track Review Tipico
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "First Man" CD/LP/Track Review First Man
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2017
Read "On A Monday Evening" CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017