All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

6

Chris Spedding: Songs Without Words

Duncan Heining By

Sign in to view read count
Recorded for Harvest in 1970, Songs Without Words was only originally released in Japan. At the time, Chris Spedding was a much sought after guitarist in jazz and rock with one of the most impressive of CVs—Mike Westbrook, Michael Gibbs, Jack Bruce, Ian Carr's Nucleus, Pete Brown and Frank Ricotti amongst others. The reason for its shelving/limited release seems to resulted from the guitarist's desire to move his career in other directions than the jazz-rock with which he was increasingly associated. For this release, Spedding has made one or two edits and added a bonus track. Of the musicians—John Marshall on drums, Roger Potter (a colleague from Battered Ornaments) on bass, John Mitchell on piano, Paul Rutherford on trombone—Rutherford, a free improviser by profession and inclination is the surprise choice. And yet, consummate player that he was, Rutherford's presence provides an additional edge to the music, as well as a contrast tonally with Spedding's electric guitar.

I won't pretend that it's all great but Songs Without Words is well worth your hard-earned. Spedding's grasp of dynamics has always been a great strength and those spidery, edgy guitar lines that are his trademark are well to the fore here. The compositions seem to be essentially based around heads and riffs but these are more than sufficient to stimulate some fine solos from Spedding and Rutherford, alongside strong support from Mitchell, Potter and the great John Marshall. The four longer tracks, "Station Song," "Song of the Deep" and "New Song Of Experience" are of most interest here, while "I Thought I Heard Robert Johnson Say" deserves a much longer outing. As a fan of Spedding's guitar work, it is great to hear him have the chance to stretch out on these tunes. As always with Hux Records, the release is beautifully packaged with excellent sleeve notes from writer Colin Harper.

Track Listing: Station Song; Plain Song; Song Of The Deep; The Forest Of Fables; New Song Of Experience; I Thought I Heard Robert Johnson Say; Sub-Continental Drift.

Personnel: Chris Spedding: guitar; Paul Rutherford: trombone; John Mitchell: piano; Roger Potter: bass, double bass; John Marshall: drums.

Title: Songs Without Words | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Hux Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Vera CD/LP/Track Review
Vera
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 18, 2018
Read In Motion CD/LP/Track Review
In Motion
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Marshian Time Slip CD/LP/Track Review
Marshian Time Slip
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Four On The Road CD/LP/Track Review
Four On The Road
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 17, 2018
Read "Ts'iibil Chaaltun" CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Rumah Batu" CD/LP/Track Review Rumah Batu
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 17, 2018
Read "Back to the Sunset" CD/LP/Track Review Back to the Sunset
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 7, 2018
Read "Organ Monk Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk Blue
by Jerome Wilson
Published: January 13, 2018
Read "Plunged" CD/LP/Track Review Plunged
by John Sharpe
Published: February 5, 2018
Read "Love + Time + Divination" CD/LP/Track Review Love + Time + Divination
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2018