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Synopsis represents material originally issued on the “Incus” LP along with one additional and previously unreleased track, performed by the venerable trio of pianist Howard Riley, bassist Barry Guy and percussionist Tony Oxley who also utilizes live electronics on this outing. Essentially, this recording resides within the classic and oft pioneering British free-jazz style of improvisation, and as some of us might surmise, the band delivers the goods in artful and curiously interesting fashion.
Throughout these five pieces, the “Howard Riley Trio” embarks on a journey that features minimalist themes and microtonal passages along with subtle counterattacks amid the often-eerie undercurrents, which are abetted by Oxley’s subliminal injections of analog EFX. Whereas on “Quantum”, the band emits a sensation of timeless bliss as they dart, jab and spar with fragmented lines atop converging dialogue. Here, Oxley exhibits his uncanny approach to drumming via expertly crafted accents, odd metered rhythms and radiant tonalities as the musicians surge towards a climactic finale spearheaded by Riley’s fluttering voicings and rhythmic block chords. On the piece titled “Ingot”, Barry Guy nimbly plucks his bass strings while alternating his cunning mode of execution with resonant arco lines in conjunction with Riley’s intricate maneuvers, as the duo explores dark regions of sound via a lower register attack. Therefore, Synopsis offers yet another archival snapshot of a very important period in the European improvisational scene.
I love jazz because it’s what sounds
I was first exposed to jazz in my
parents household and in school
I appreciate many styles of jazz
and shy away from really outside
stuff. I enjoy relating to the
One of the best shows I ever
attended was 1975 Chick Corea’s
Return To Forever tour at an
intimate venue in downtown
The first jazz record I bought was
Herbie Hancock’s Chameleon.
My advice to new listeners is try
several styles before you decide
what jazz is all about!
Listen to music daily and stay open