296

Lol Coxhill / Alex Ward: Old Sights, New Sounds

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Lol Coxhill / Alex Ward: Old Sights, New Sounds Recorded at Incus HQ, London, in October 2010, this duo is a delight that should refresh even the most jaded ears. Lol Coxhill and Alex Ward are both veteran improvisers and regular participants on the London scene, so it was inevitable that they would eventually play together as a duo. As evidenced below by YouTube, that happened in August 2010 at John Russell's annual Fete Qua Qua; the pairing was repeated the following month at Sybil Madrigal's monthly Boat Ting gig on the Thames (on the occasion of Madrigal's birthday, actually). After they repeated the success of their previous meeting, it was clear that the two should record together—so Karen Brookman asked them if they would for Incus; without hesitation, they each agreed.

The pairing of Coxhill and Ward is a far from obvious one. Despite Coxhill being the senior partner by over forty years, without forewarning it would be difficult to tell that from their music; both sound remarkably spry and lively—one of the joys of the duo. Just as important to its success is the instrumentation; Coxhill's soprano saxophone and Ward's clarinet are close enough in pitch to be highly compatible, yet their timbres are different enough for the two to be easily distinguishable, their individual contributions easy to separate. In addition, each plays their instrument straight, with no electronics or other effects, meaning that this is a text book example of "good old-fashioned improv."

Coxhill and Ward have playing styles that are remarkably similar, making them highly compatible as improvising partners. They each play free-flowing lines, seeking to compose spontaneous melodies, something at which they are often successful. For much of the time on these seven tracks, the two improvise simultaneously, following parallel paths that intertwine and interact, with neither leading nor following the other. By the slightest of adjustments they respond to and accommodate each other in subtle ways, giving the strong impression that telepathy is at work. A delight from start to finish.


Track Listing: Establishing Shot; Back Story; Angle On; Slug Line; Tight On; Pull Back; Dissolve.

Personnel: Lol Coxhill: soprano saxophone; Alex Ward: clarinet.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Incus


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
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 "Salt Task" CD/LP/Track Review Salt Task
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "Rumbler" CD/LP/Track Review Rumbler
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "On Ceremony" CD/LP/Track Review On Ceremony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Volume 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Mundo" CD/LP/Track Review Mundo
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 30, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!