151

Outhouse: Outhouse

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
The two tenor saxophone-led Outhouse quartet are members of London's Loop Collective of musicians, a younger sibling of the city's pioneering F-ire Collective. Both collectives are focused on the exploratory, culturally inclusive and on occasion brutally iconoclastic end of the jazz spectrum, and between them they've put forward some of the most exciting British jazz of the past three or four years.



To date, the longer established F-ire have created the biggest stir, with Acoustic Ladyland, Polar Bear and groups led by saxophonists Ingrid Laubrock and Finn Peters. But with their self-titled debut album, Outhouse shoulder their way straight into the vanguard.



Outhouse cite drummer Jim Black's Alas No Axis and saxophonists Tim Berne and Ellery Eskelin amongst their key references, and the confluence of rich rhythms and gutsy horns those names suggest is central to their music. Six of the eight tracks are written by saxophonists Robin Fincker and Mark Hanslip, and all are concerned with the relationship between composed and improvised music, and between form and groove.



In this respect, Outhouse explores similar territory as Finn Peters' Butterflies (Accidental, 2008), but with an altogether fiercer and more in-your-face aesthetic—a rough diamond to Peters' polished jade. More obviously, there are parallels with David Liebman and Ellery Eskelin's explorations of the space between form and improvisation on Different But The Same (Hatology, 2003) and Renewal (Hatology, 2008).



Rhythm—vigorous and often ostinato driven, but nuanced and never a mere thrash—is key to Outhouse's music. Nowhere is this better displayed than on the nearly ten minute long "Japa Seloho," which features guest percussionist Kaw Secka on tama, the Senegambian talking drum. Secka's laser-precise stick work blends with Dave Smith's kit with an intimacy unusual in jazz/African drum duets. It's a groove Outhouse explored further at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts in May, 2008, in a performance featuring five sabar (djembe) drummers from Gambia.



The other guest is vocalist Jeanne Added, whose spacey, wordless vocals are engaging features of three tracks. Fincker's clarinet also makes occasional appearances. The clarinet solo on "Spiders"—with "Mu" one of the album's more soft-footed tunes—is particularly lovely.



An assured and brilliantly realized manifesto from a headline new band.


Track Listing: The Tin Box; Spiders; Japa Seloho; Pig; The Foreign Meat; Mu; Zmerish; Canvas.

Personnel: Robin Fincker: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Mark Hanslip: tenor saxophone; Johnny Brierley: bass; Dave Smith: drums; Jeanne Added: voice (5, 7, 8); Kaw Secka: tama (3).

Title: Outhouse | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Babel Label


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Aqustico vol 2 CD/LP/Track Review Aqustico vol 2
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Beginnings CD/LP/Track Review Beginnings
by David A. Orthmann
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Synchronic CD/LP/Track Review Synchronic
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Juxtaposition" CD/LP/Track Review Juxtaposition
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 9, 2017
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Invitation" CD/LP/Track Review Invitation
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 8, 2017
Read "Developing Story" CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Day and Night" CD/LP/Track Review Day and Night
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 18, 2017
Read "Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello" CD/LP/Track Review Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello
by John Eyles
Published: July 11, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.