All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

2

Sebastian Lexer + Steve Noble: Muddy Ditch

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
In a similar manner to the simultaneous Fataka release by Evan Parker and Seymour Wright, Muddy Ditch successfully pairs a long-established member of the London improv scene with a player who emerged from Eddie Prevost's weekly workshop —drummer Steve Noble and pianist Sebastian Lexer, respectively. But in Noble and Lexer's cases, the descriptions "drummer" and "pianist" are barely adequate, only scratching the surface of what each of them does.

While Noble's awesome power always ensures he is a first rate drummer, as he demonstrates here he is also a stunning improviser on percussion, able to generate a vast array of sounds and effects at a moment's notice in response to his playing partner. While never losing sight of the pulse—injecting an occasional cymbal or snare shot to keep it on track—his playing concentrates primarily on the qualities of the sounds themselves. Consequently, he is just as much in the spotlight as his partner. Lexer himself is credited with "piano+," a fitting designation for the breadth of sounds that he conjures from the instrument with the use of electronics plus laptop, notably to sustain notes longer than a piano alone would permit. Although the listener is never allowed to forget that Lexer is playing piano, his music contains enough variety to mesh with the range pouring forth from Noble.

The two tracks on Muddy Ditch were recorded live at Cafe Oto, almost three years apart, "Pool" in October 2011, at one of this duo's first gigs together, and "Loess" in June 2014. Their durations are twenty-eight and thirty-seven minutes, respectively, lengths which allow plenty of time for the pair to explore one another's playing without seeming unduly rushed or over-elaborating; everything proceeds at a pace which feels just right. Their music covers a wide variety of dynamic levels, from the quietest exchanges of barely audible tappings through to swelling climaxes, the moves through the gears always feeling natural and unforced.

Despite the years between the two pieces, there are no obvious changes or developments in the pair's interactions between 2011 and 2014; right from the off, the two seem to have been compatible and attuned to each other, without any of the tentative or over-cautious exchanges that can characterise new improv pairings. As with that Parker / Wright disc, we must hope that Muddy Ditch is followed-up with another release from this duo as soon as possible.

Track Listing: Pool; Loess.

Personnel: Sebastian Lexer: piano+ ; Steve Noble: drums and percussion.

Title: Muddy Ditch | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Fataka

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Muddy Ditch

Muddy Ditch

Fataka
2016

buy
 

Tri-Borough Triptych

Traumton Records
2013

buy
 

Impossibility In Its...

Traumton Records
2012

buy
 

Luftwurzeln

Traumton Records
2012

buy
 

Dazwischen

Traumton Records
2009

buy
 

Blasen

Traumton Records
2008

buy

Related Articles

Read Drift CD/LP/Track Review
Drift
by Paul Rauch
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Journey Moments CD/LP/Track Review
Journey Moments
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island CD/LP/Track Review
Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Night Concert CD/LP/Track Review
Night Concert
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Rumah Batu CD/LP/Track Review
Rumah Batu
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 17, 2018
Read The Bat Swings! CD/LP/Track Review
The Bat Swings!
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 17, 2018
Read "Root Structure" CD/LP/Track Review Root Structure
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 31, 2017
Read "Orientation" CD/LP/Track Review Orientation
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 18, 2018
Read "The Return of Art Pepper" CD/LP/Track Review The Return of Art Pepper
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 8, 2017
Read "La Terza Via" CD/LP/Track Review La Terza Via
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 9, 2018
Read "Dr. Quixotic’s Traveling Exotics" CD/LP/Track Review Dr. Quixotic’s Traveling Exotics
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 11, 2018
Read "Motion" CD/LP/Track Review Motion
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 22, 2018