Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers 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!

320

douBt: Never Pet a Burning Dog

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Sometimes bringing two musicians together for the first time can yield some real magic. That was the case when British keyboardist Alex Maguire joined up with Michel Delville and members of the Belgian guitarist's flagship group, The Wrong Object, for Brewed in Belgium (MoonJune, 2008). Never Pet a Burning Dog largely pares things down to a trio featuring Delville, drummer Tony Bianco, and Maguire, who expands his sonic palette here to include electric piano, organ, synth, and that bastion of 1970s progressive rock, the mellotron.



It's largely a free-wheeling blowing session, with compositional contributions from all three members, and a couple of notable exceptions. Bassist/vocalist Richard Sinclair fleshes douBt out to a quartet on three tracks, including "Passing Cloud," which he co-wrote with Maguire, and on which the legendary member of Caravan and Hatfield and the North sings with his warm, melodious voice on one of the disc's most eminently accessible tracks. In addition to singing, he also plays bass on Maguire's opening "Corale di San Luca," a rubato, change-heavy song on which Sinclair gently delivers wordless vocals, and the keyboardist's more aggressive "Laughter," an oblique, jaggedly riff-driven instrumental that's the first indication that douBt has no shortage of teeth. Delville solos with reckless abandon, while Bianco—known for his affiliation with free improvisers like saxophonist Elton Dean, pianist Alex von Schlippenbach and saxophonist Paul Dunmall—provides a tumultuous underpinning. Maguire's overdriven Rhodes solo is a set highlight, going to even more extreme places than he did on Psychic Warrior (Hux, 2005), his impressive album with Dean, bassist Fred T Baker, and drummer Liam Genockey.



The only non-original here is Norwegian guitarist Terje Rypdal's "Over Birkerot," from Odyssey (ECM, 1975). Rypdal has never been one to shy away from high octane, rock-inflected improvisation, but here Delville takes it even further, as Bianco again creates a maelstrom of percussion beneath Maguire's pedal tone, and modal-based solos that turn the heat up even higher.



Bianco's "Sea," not surprisingly, ebbs and flows, with a knotty opening figure that periodically resurfaces, while the drummer's "Aeon" is a brooding but energetic piece featuring a melody from Delville that, despite possessing a voice of its own, again links to Rypdal as one of this album's touchstones. Delville's "Cosmic Surgery" lifts an opening figure from Gentle Giant's title track to Free Hand (Capitol, 1975), but takes it to a far darker place, with Maguire's dense organ and the guitarist's heavily overdriven axe ultimately dissolving into a brooding middle section where, with his guitar turned clean and melodic, Delville references Rypdal's mid-1980s group, The Chasers.



Never Pet a Burning Dog is a rock-inflected, hard-surfaced combination of knotty writing and unfettered free play. Recorded live in the studio over two days, it continues the magic of Brewed in Belgium by both narrowing the focus and expanding the interaction possible with a smaller ensemble. Here's hoping this isn't the last we'll be hearing from douBt.


Track Listing: Cobale di San Luca; Laughter; Over Birkerot; Sea; Passing Cloud; Cosmic Surgery; Aeon; Beppe's Shelter.

Personnel: Alex Maguire: Fender Rhodes piano, Hammond organ, mellotron, synth; Michel Delville: electric guitar, Roland GR-09; Tony Bianco: drums; Richard Sinclair: vocals (1, 5); bass guitar (1, 2).

Title: Never Pet a Burning Dog | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Moonjune Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Music in the Room CD/LP/Track Review Music in the Room
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2017
Read Of Light and Shadows CD/LP/Track Review Of Light and Shadows
by Phillip Woolever
Published: December 9, 2017
Read Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven CD/LP/Track Review Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven
by Doug Collette
Published: December 9, 2017
Read The Chicago Blues Box 2 CD/LP/Track Review The Chicago Blues Box 2
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 9, 2017
Read I Speilvendthet CD/LP/Track Review I Speilvendthet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 9, 2017
Read Book Of Sound CD/LP/Track Review Book Of Sound
by Gareth Thompson
Published: December 8, 2017
Read "Sing House" CD/LP/Track Review Sing House
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 30, 2017
Read "Strykin’ Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Strykin’ Ahead
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 13, 2017
Read "Of Light and Shadows" CD/LP/Track Review Of Light and Shadows
by Phillip Woolever
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "Reflection" CD/LP/Track Review Reflection
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "We Live Here" CD/LP/Track Review We Live Here
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works" CD/LP/Track Review Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 4, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!