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Tatterdemalion: the album title refers to someone who wears tattered clothing, a simile that may parallel the unadorned and rather raucous proceedings enacted by this trio's thoroughly "free" approach to jazz improvisation. You won't find pieces that intimate a sea of tranquility. It's more about an in-your-face type workout featuring saxophonist Rachel Musson's hardcore expressionism. However, veteran improvisers, keyboardist Liam Noble and drummer Mark Sanders, oblige Musson's rambunctious and serrated lines with contrapuntal responses and guileful treatments on this wildly explorative outing.
The musicians' high-octane thrust features imaginative three-way dialogues and soaring opuses. But Noble's dark electric piano voicings, occasionally touched-up with distortion, serve as a contrasting agent as he mimics, prods, solos and underscores Musson's gritty choruses. On "The Blue Man," the artists portray a feeding frenzy with energized interactions, abetted by Sanders' rolling rhythms and powerful cymbal hits. This song could loom as a poster for modern era avant expressionism. Yet they do tone it down towards the finale with an undulating soundscape atop an asymmetrical pulse.
The musicians' relentless attack could possibly be the output of indulging in highly potent energy drinks. But "The Blanket Feels Wooden" is somewhat subdued and probing, as the trio depicts an unsettling climate accented by Sanders' gently placed cymbals swashes and Noble's phased keys work, casting notions of a nomadic progression into an abyss.
Indeed, this album is not for the faint of heart. It's an implosion of rapidly executed improvisational tactics and on-the-fly theme-building amid the garrulous processes, primarily engineered via the artists' notable synergy and anticipation of almost every move.
Track Listing: May Be A Silken Thread; Wheel; The Blue Man; On My Road; Spinning; The
Blanket Feels Wooden; You Wear Your Colours And Move.
Personnel: Rachel Musson: saxophones; Liam Noble: keyboard; Mark Sanders: drums.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.