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Dominic Lash / Pat Thomas: New Oxford Brevity

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Dominic Lash / Pat Thomas: New Oxford Brevity
Although Dominic Lash and Pat Thomas are frequent visitors to London and regularly gig there in a variety of contexts, for each of them Oxford seems a greater attraction than the capital, even though Lash now lives in Bristol rather than Oxford where he studied. The two first played together—Lash on bass guitar, Thomas on piano—on May 15th 2001 in a trio with Alex Ward. After that Thomas on piano and Lash on double bass had regular playing sessions together, although Thomas is two decades older than Lash. Their first recording together, Skip (FMR, 2013), was in a trio with Mark Sanders on drums, recorded in September 2009 and May 2010, live in concerts at Brunel University and London's Vortex respectively.

New London Brevity represents a new phase in the story of Lash and Thomas, as this duo features Lash on electric guitar, an instrument he has been playing in concert for some time. Recorded at St. Anne's College, Oxford, on 25th October 2021, the album's six tracks total forty-two minutes; the relative brevity of some tracks would seem to be acknowledged in the album title, although that may also be a joke at the expense of the turn-of-the-millennium New London Silence movement.

Be that as it may, the duo work well together, managing to finds ways for two "accompanying instruments" to combine successfully without getting in each other's way. Improvised throughout, the key to the pair's success is that each of them is quick and skilful at listening and reacting appropriately, to the extent that it is often easy to believe that they are playing composed music. Nonetheless, that is belied by Lash's sleeve notes in which he rightly describes his band mate as "one of the most naturally unpredictable improvisers I've ever heard." Despite the unpredictability, Lash is adept at keeping up with Thomas so that the two sound right together. Text book improvising of a very high standard.

Track Listing

Niyyah; Slide 28 please; A flower is a source of joy; Relatively stable; The Woodstock shuffle; Hikmah.

Personnel

Pat Thomas: piano.

Additional Instrumentation

Dominic Lash: electric guitar

Album information

Title: New Oxford Brevity | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Spoonhunt


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