437

Ray Warleigh: Rue Victor Masse

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Ray Warleigh: Rue Victor Masse Remarkably, this is saxophonist Ray Warleigh's second solo album; his first—ingeniously entitled Ray Warleigh's First Album (Philips, 1968)—was produced by none other than Scott Walker. In the intervening years, Warleigh has been an active session player, appearing on albums as diverse as Nick Drake's Bryter Layter (Island, 1970), Soft Machine's Bundles (Harvest, 1975) and The Dedication Orchestra's Spirits Rejoice (Ogun, 1992).

Along the way, Warleigh has been in various ensembles with Evan Parker, hence this release on Psi, which was recorded in a Paris apartment on a mini-disc in October 2004. Although he receives sole billing, Warleigh is paired with long-time Parker associate, drummer Tony Marsh. In contrast to that first album which consisted largely of smooth cover versions (it opened with "The Look of Love") this one is mainly improvised, the exception being an impressionistic version of "I Fall in Love Too Easily."

Generally, improvising saxophone and drums duos make great demands of both players and only succeed if both are top notch. It reflects well on Warleigh and Marsh that this album is an unqualified success, remarkable given Warleigh's reported remark: "What I play is absolutely unpremeditated. There are no soundscapes or pictures in my head. But I like melody very much, and I've thought about it a lot." That sounds like a good starting point for an improvising saxophonist... if not for a session player.

In the event, Warleigh proves that he does like melody and is adept at spontaneously generating coherent, flowing melody lines out of thin air. He does so without resorting to the trick of quoting phrases from well-known tunes, giving his lines a sense of freshness and originality. Whether on alto sax or flute (throughout, he alternates the two with equal facility) his tone is full, rich and he plays with confidence.

Marsh perfectly complements Warleigh, always divining exactly the right rhythm and texture to support the nascent melodies and providing them without undue drama; as a support player he is without fault, never stealing Warleigh's thunder but making him sound as good as possible. The longest track (at twelve minutes), "For Flute and Percussion," does acknowledge that this is a duo and is notable for Warleigh's use of flute throughout; it is one of many highlights for both players, with Marsh's subtle tom-tom and cymbal work being an ideal setting for the fluid flute.


Track Listing: Blues and; Nothing but; The Other Side; New Moon; Prayer; I Fall In Love Too Easily; For Flute and Percussion; Inner Ray; Standards and Blues; EnFin.

Personnel: Ray Warleigh: alto saxophone, flute; Tony Marsh: percussion.

Title: Rue Victor Masse | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Psi


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Magnetic CD/LP/Track Review Magnetic
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2017
Read A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Someone Else CD/LP/Track Review Someone Else
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Falling Forward CD/LP/Track Review Falling Forward
by James Nadal
Published: July 27, 2017
Read I Know Who I Am CD/LP/Track Review I Know Who I Am
by James Nadal
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "Jinja" CD/LP/Track Review Jinja
by James Nadal
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Birdhoused" CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin' at Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge" CD/LP/Track Review Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin' at Morey...
by Doug Collette
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Green With Envy" CD/LP/Track Review Green With Envy
by James Nadal
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Alto Manhattan" CD/LP/Track Review Alto Manhattan
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "No Parking Any Time" CD/LP/Track Review No Parking Any Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 5, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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