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...

143

Spring Heel Jack: Live

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Spring Heel Jack, in the persona of John Coxon and Ashley Wales, has found the right formula in marrying billowing electronics to traditional musical instruments. The equation has changed in terms of musicians from last year's Amassed , but the results have not been watered down. Gone are Kenny Wheeler and Paul Rutherford, and George Trebar has made way for William Parker.

The tracks run over 35 minutes and 39 minutes respectively, which makes for easier assimilation in a live setting than a recorded one. But give it to the band: there is nary a moment that these players let slip by as they keep communication going through shifts of mood and tempo and a clever sense of aural shading.

The buildup is gradual on “Part I,” a sense of dynamics pervading the atmosphere as the guitar melds into the strains of the Fender Rhodes, and then electronics, percussion, drums pave the avenue for the tenor sax, which gradually but surely navigates the open spaces in coiling lines. Parker brings in a broad sweltering tone on the saxophone, the setting just right for the stout ministrations that are his hallmark. The din swelters and erupts, but even as it does in the heated animation of the instruments and of the machines, the weave that does not dangle any loose strands. If there is one particular passage that elevates the whole, it is the mating of the tenor and the creation of the sound of a shehnai, the two singing in mesmerising tandem. And there is as well a beautiful moment of calm that floats across on the gentle strains of a flute.

Bennink shows the percussive side of his considerable skills as a drummer when he opens “Part II” and then locks in with Parker on the bass in a most exhilarating dialogue. The explosion comes around the 8:30 mark in a welter of electronics and the tenor, but the mood changes quickly as Parker begins to swing, taking Bennink and William Parker along for the jaunt over and across the electronic squeals that form the backdrop. The tune breaks around the halfway mark and resumes in a more pronounced and deliberate movement. Music and sound evolve and revolve around each other, the integration of the elements a smooth clasp. Clash and clang, hot grooves and cool, dissonance and structure, swing and vibrant textures all add up to an intriguing experience.

Track Listing: Part 1; Part 2.

Personnel: Han Bennink: drums; Evan Parker: tenor saxophone; William Parker: bass; Matthew Shipp: Fender rhodes; J Spaceman: guitar; Spring Heel Jack (John Coxon and Ashley Wales): all other instruments and electronics.

Title: Live | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings

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.

Album Reviews
London Calling
Album Reviews
Read more articles
 

Mass

Creole Stream Music
2009

buy
Songs And Themes

Songs And Themes

Thirsty Ear Recordings
2008

buy
 

Songs & Themes

Creole Stream Music
2008

buy
Live

Live

Thirsty Ear Recordings
2005

buy
The Sweetness Of The Water

The Sweetness Of The...

Thirsty Ear Recordings
2004

buy
AMaSSED

AMaSSED

Thirsty Ear Recordings
2002

buy

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