99

Tim Crowther-Steve Franklin-Tony Marsh: Shell Of Certainty

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Here we have three crafty veterans of the British jazz-experimental scene who have assembled an extremely unique and thoroughly adventurous series of electrically charged improvisations as the results are often fascinating and beguiling. Guitarist Tim Crowther and keyboardist Steve Franklin have respectively or cooperatively worked with the legendary Canterbury bassist Hugh Hopper on projects such as the hip yet wild “Conglomerate”, various free-jazz ensembles, ex-King Crimson violinist David Cross and many others. Drummer Tony Marsh compliments his astute bandmates impressive resumes as he has also performed with many notables of the European free-jazz scene. Simply stated, these fellows generate enough energy and momentum to power a rocket ship! It is that intense!

Recorded live and improvised sans overdubs Shell Of Certainty is a series of powerful performances! From the opening moments of “Gravity Issue”, thoughts of Hendrix or Mahavishnu performing electric free jazz came to mind. Here, electric guitarist Steve Crowther blazes forward atop atmospheric yet darting keyboard work from Steve Franklin. The overall sound is huge and expansive as the soloing, interplay and feverish left of center or implied backbeats suggest wide open terrain which often leaves quite a bit of space for evolution and invention. “Council Of All Being” is multi-tonal, at times vicious and spacey as if a heated conversation was taking place somewhere in the cosmos. Here, Crowther is on fire with fierce and lightning fast riffs. Throughout, the often glistening sound quality seems multi-dimensional, as if this band were performing in your living room.

“Tremors” emits notions of an electrified homage to the British Free-Jazz scene through sparse passages, chatty dialogue between Franklin, Marsh and Crowther who also utilizes the guitar-synth. Clusters of solos, statements coupled with linear movement and a framework, which is constructed around gradual ascension, suggests a perceived notion of an earthquake or something equally ominous. “Permanent (washable)” features more of a pronounced backbeat by Marsh as the Trio stuns our senses with a somewhat bizarre foray into psychedelic fusion art-rock, accelerated by Franklin’s tasty synth-keyboard work. You may be entering an alien space craft for a quick tour of the heavens on “Aboreal” as the unusual yet hard edged sounds trick and deceive the imagination or how about some mutant electro-blues on the final track titled, “Angel Cakes”. At this juncture it may be time to take a deep breath and cherish the experience. Shell Of Certainty stands on it’s own, from a high vantage point – as if it were untouchable!........* * * * *

Additional information is provided on their “informative” website: www.visionlogic.demon.co.uk Distribution in the USA is handled byWayside Musicand in the UK byHarmonia Mundi

Personnel:

Steve Crowther; Guitar & Guitar Synth: Steve Franklin; Keyboards: Tony Marsh; Drums

| Record Label: Visionlogic | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Burning Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Burning Ghosts
by Troy Collins
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21" CD/LP/Track Review Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Gratitude" CD/LP/Track Review Gratitude
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Eight Track II" CD/LP/Track Review Eight Track II
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 1, 2016
Read "Verde" CD/LP/Track Review Verde
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "Angry Waves Vol.1&2" CD/LP/Track Review Angry Waves Vol.1&2
by Nicola Negri
Published: September 30, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

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!