320

douBt: Never Pet a Burning Dog

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
douBt: Never Pet a Burning Dog 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).

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Moonjune Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Spin Cycle" CD/LP/Track Review Spin Cycle
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 13, 2016
Read "Suite Três Rios" CD/LP/Track Review Suite Três Rios
by Paul Naser
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "Infinitude" CD/LP/Track Review Infinitude
by John Kelman
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "Early Americans" CD/LP/Track Review Early Americans
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 22, 2016
Read "Sketches on the Radio" CD/LP/Track Review Sketches on the Radio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!