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LIVE REVIEWS

Not Two...But Twenty! Festival

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Not Two...But Twenty! Festival Wlen, Poland September 21-23, 2018 Intro There are some things worth celebrating in style, one of them being marked persistence in the face of adversity. That pretty much describes the continued existence of any jazz record label in these straitened times. To mark its 20th anniversary, Not Two Records convened an unprecedented line up of thirteen musicians from nine countries for a three day festival in the small village ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Evan Parker / Barry Guy / Paul Lytton: Music For David Mossman

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Over 35 years and counting. It's fair to say that the British trio of saxophonist Evan Parker, bassist Barry Guy and drummer Paul Lytton constitutes one of the longer-lived units in the free improvised realm, a domain often distinguished by its tendency towards ad hoc groupings. So, with a discography over two score in size, you can be sure that when a new release arrives it documents something worth hearing. And that is indeed the case with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Evan Parker / Barry Guy / Paul Lytton: Music For David Mossman / Live At Vortex London

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Spinning the latest release by the trio of Evan Parker, Barry Guy, and Paul Lytton brings to mind The Rolling Stones. Like the Stones, these musicians have been performing together since the 1960s, and seemingly every time they perform, they conjure a crossfire hurricane. This 2016 live performance at London's Club Vortex is no exception. The musicians began this formal trio in 1980, initially releasing (the now out-of-print LP) Tracks (Incus, 1983). Fifteen titles and thirty-six years later, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Barry Guy & Izumi Kimura At The Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin

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Barry Guy & Izumi Kimura The Hugh Lane Gallery Dublin, Ireland March 12, 2017 The Hugh Lane Gallery has been hosting free Sunday afternoon concerts in Dublin for over forty years--a remarkable feat by any yardstick. It's the quality of the music, however, that makes this weekly event something truly special. This Sunday saw Barry Guy and Izumi Kimura together for the first time, as part of the inaugural Spectrum festival, a weekend celebration of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Barry Guy / Marilyn Crispell / Paul Lytton: Deep Memory

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Bassist Barry Guy took a key role in pianist Howard Riley's groundbreaking trio in the late 60s, early 70s. And while that early experience has in no way defined him, it means it perhaps comes as less of a surprise that he has increasingly turned to the format in the latter part of his career. One offs apart, the two enduring piano trio vehicles for the bassist are the Aurora Trio with Agusti Fernandez and Ramon Lopez, and the accomplished ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Barry Guy: The Blue Shroud

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In some ways, The Blue Shroud might be Barry Guy's signature work. It's the first to unite his varied interests in Baroque music, composition, jazz and improv at an orchestral scale. To do so Guy assembles a 14-strong crack unit capable of interpreting each aspect to the highest level, including several early music specialists who are also able to extemporize. And Guy's topic is worthy of such endeavor. He takes as his inspiration three interlinked themes, the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Barry Guy / Ken Vandermark: Occasional Poems

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For British bassist Barry Guy the concert that produced this fine double disc package occurred at the end of a four day intensive residency in Krakow culminating in the premier of an ambitious new work by his Blue Shroud Band. While for Chicago reedman Ken Vandermark, the event was the final episode in two months on the road. But whether relief or exhaustion were the dominant feelings, neither resulted in any lowering of standards or resting on laurels. Occasional Poems ...

PROFILES

Barry Guy: Back to the Drawing-Board (Part 3)

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 One of the things which may strike the listener on hearing the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra for the first time is just how much volume Guy is able to draw from just seventeen to twenty players. Some other big bands sound almost insipid in comparison. There is something about the way the composer is able to harness the power of his individual musicians and magnify it to something of symphonic ...

PROFILES

Barry Guy: A Prophet is Not without Honour (Part 2)

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Barry Guy has been the artistic director and main composer of the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra throughout its now forty-five year history. Recordings and performances since Ode in 1972 have been sporadic but those forty-five years have resulted in eleven albums (including one with Anthony Braxton) and one DVD. In that time, the longest gaps in releases have been between Ode and Stringer (1972-1983) and between Double Trouble Two and ...

PROFILES

Barry Guy: Ploughs into Swordshares (Part 1)

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Edgar Varèse's defiant statement in the face of public and critical indifference -"The present day composer refuses to die"--could so easily apply to composer-bassist Barry Guy. He has earned over the years a deep and lasting respect from certain fans and critics, though more so in North America and Europe than in the country of his birth. Nevertheless, the struggles of the creative artist in a world where culture is ...