Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

151

Various Artists: Freedom of the City 2006

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
As the Freedom of the City 2007 festival draws near, here is a timely reminder of the quality of the music that can always be expected there. Although the three groupings here do not feature any "household names, they do contain many decades of experience at playing improvised music, and that is what shines through on these performances.

Besides the quality of their music, maybe the tracks here were also selected to stress the cosmopolitan nature of FOTC. The opening trio consists of two Spaniards and a New Zealander. Chefa Alonso proves herself to be a distinctive and fluent improviser on soprano sax. The prolonged passages where all three players are in full flight are exhilarating. They also sound distinctive, something that is not easy to achieve given the wealth of improvising sax-bass-drums trios around.

The 2006 festival was memorable for the visit of improvisers from Brussels' Collectif Inaudible, who played in various groupings together and with London-based players. (Their visit confirmed the impression created by their album Cardo of a highly inventive and slightly eccentric bunch.) "Okgnig features one such performance by an all-Belgian quartet. In particular, Jan-Michel van Schouwburg is an amazing vocalist (not singer), producing an extraordinary array of sounds and effects. At times it sounds as if an over-excited dog has wandered onstage. The only minor downside here is that we can only hear his performance, not see it as well, as he is quite a performer.

The members of the final quartet are seasoned veterans of the London improv scene with the likes of Derek Bailey, John Stevens and Evan Parker... and the London Improvisers' Orchestra. Saxophonist Garry Todd does not play often in public, but that is no reflection on his playing, which is free-flowing and very listenable. Although the quartet improvises, its music is the most jazz-tinged of the three tracks here.

To summarize, this edition of the annual Freedom of the City release is well up to the usual high standard; as essential as ever if you want to keep in touch with the improv scene in London.

Track Listing: Ch

Personnel: Chefa Alonso: soprano saxophone (1); David Leahy: bass (1); Javier Carmona: drum set, percussion (1); Jean-Michel van Schouwburg: voice (2); Adelheid Sieuw: flutes, voice (2); Jan Huib Nas: guitar (2); Guy Strale: clarinet, piano, percussion (2); Garry Todd: tenor saxophone (3); Nigel Coombes: violin (3); Nick Stephens: bass (3); Tony Marsh: drum set (3).

Title: Freedom of the City 2006 | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Emanem

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Sleepers Wake

Sleepers Wake

Various Artists
Snowfall

Winter Waltz

Winter Waltz

Various Artists
Winter: An Origin Records...

Album Reviews
Read more articles
The Social Power of Music

The Social Power of...

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
2019

buy
Jazz Fest: The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Jazz Fest: The New...

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
2019

buy
La Casa Murada MoonJune Sessions, Volume 1

La Casa Murada...

MoonJune Records
2019

buy
Spiritual Jazz 9: Blue Notes Parts 1 & 2

Spiritual Jazz 9:...

Jazzman Records
2019

buy
Putumayo Presents: Ska Around the World

Putumayo Presents:...

Putumayo World Music
2018

buy

Upcoming Shows

Related Articles

Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Karl Ackermann
May 20, 2019
Read Remembering Miles Album Reviews
Remembering Miles
By Dan McClenaghan
May 20, 2019
Read Merry Peers Album Reviews
Merry Peers
By Bruce Lindsay
May 20, 2019
Read Music! Music! Music! Album Reviews
Music! Music! Music!
By Doug Collette
May 20, 2019
Read Sheer Reckless Abandon Album Reviews
Sheer Reckless Abandon
By John Kelman
May 19, 2019
Read Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z Album Reviews
Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z
By Jack Bowers
May 19, 2019
Read To My Brothers Album Reviews
To My Brothers
By Victor L. Schermer
May 19, 2019