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The candy known as Reese's peanut butter cups ran an advertisement for years where two snackers feigned and argument that went something like; "you got your peanut butter in my chocolate!" followed by "no, you got your chocolate in my peanut butter!" The parties ultimately agreed that these two flavors, taste great together. Same can be said for the trio N.E.W. of drummer Steve Noble, bassist John Edwards and guitarist Alex Ward. Their flavors of rock and improvised jazz merge into a lip-smacking dish on this limited edition (of 300) 180 gram vinyl release.
The disc kicks off with the thunderous "Betting On Now." Ward's guitar throttle is set to shred. If you didn't read the lineup, you might have the notion these freedom fighters were concocting a coup d'état. But look again, these are the powers that be in the London improvising scene. Noble and Edward are the backbone of Peter Brötzmann's trio and make up �� of Decoy with Alexander Hawkins. Ward, who is also known as a clarinetist, but sticks to electric guitar here, has recorded with Derek Bailey, Thurston Moore, and Joe Morris. The opening salvos are gut-punching blasts of thunderous bass, energy drumming, and guitar shred with a pinch or two of swing to remind you of their DNA. The shortish "How It Is" settles into a quiet open improvisation, exploring cymbals, plucked and bowed bass and gentler decaying guitar.
This release, their third (with a fourth on the way) follows the Bo'Weavil discs NEWtoons (2009) and Deadeye Tricksters (2009). The trio's connection runs deep here. The pieces, all improvised, are delivered without second thoughts. The steam rolling "Tall & True" gives way to an exploration of minute sounds with "4th & Three" that, although quieter to start, swings just as hard. Nobles' drumming is a perpetual and inexhaustible source throughout. Where these three excel is in their ability to meld improvisation with an ever propulsive sound. Two things that are oh, so tasty together.
Track Listing: Betting On Now; How It Is; Tall & True; 4th & Three; Motion.
Personnel: Steve Noble; drums; John Edwards: double bass; Alex Ward: guitar.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.