139

Spring Heel Jack: The Sweetness of the Water

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
Spring Heel Jack: The Sweetness of the Water Spring Heel Jack’s previous Thirsty Ear disc captured a live performance with Matthew Shipp, William Parker, Evan Parker, and others, creating dense grooves that some compared to the churning thickness of early ‘70s Miles. Their new release has them at times light as sunbeam lint, possibly a result of guest Wadada Leo Smith’s input—the structure is more like a Smith project, or even Evan Parker’s Electro-Acoustic Ensemble. Collaborators—in addition to Spring Heel Jack, comprised of John Coxon and Ashley Wales—also include veteran rhythm section members John Edwards on double bass and Mark Sanders on drums and timpani, plus the returning Evan Parker on reeds.

John Coxon’s electric guitar scrapings introduce “Track 4,” the opener, and quick light work by Sanders supports him. Smith enters the slowly unfolding track with big clear tone and incisive statements. Edwards probes on bass, responsive to Smith’s lead. Offering a rare chance to hear Parker and Smith together, “Quintet” continues the amphorous feel with Parker on soprano entwining with Smith’s muted horn, Sanders brisk on brushes, brassy electronic wedges dropping around them.

Parker’s free brilliance weaves through the angelic samples of “Lata.” Occupying a familiar crux point between hyper-melodic and tuneless, Parker warbles circular breath over Coxon’s glowing vibraphone. he deftly attacks the rims and cymbals of his drumkit to open “Duo,” Coxon roaring on distorted guitar and quietly growling. Coxon and Wales create an ambient setting for Smith’s pure musings on “Track One,” Coxon adding accents on harmonica. Parker switches to tenor and trades amazing phrases with Smith.

Quiet anticipation marks “Inlet,” an exercise in space and restraint. “Track Two” continues the low-key mood, built on occasional piano chords, trembling bowed bass, and piercing trumpet. Sanders whispers cymbals and quick drum runs, while Coxon’s electric guitar adds buzz and drone color. “Autumn” feels more like spring, with its swelling orchestral electronics and Smith’s bold fanfares.

The SHJ anchoring duo of Coxon and Ashley Wales continue to prove a flexible and supportive host for some of improvised music’s most adventurous voyagers.


Track Listing: Track Four; Quintet; Lata; Duo; Track One; Inlet; Track Two: Autumn

Personnel: Wadada Leo Smith, trumpet; Evan Parker, tenor and soprano saxophones; John Edwards, double bass; Mark Sanders, drums and timpani; John Coxon, electric guitar, organ, harmonica, vibraphone, samples, electronics, lift cage; Ashley Wales, acoustic guitar, trumpet, congas, samples, electronics, lift cage.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Proximity" CD/LP/Track Review Proximity
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 7, 2016
Read "Cinema Spiral" CD/LP/Track Review Cinema Spiral
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 31, 2016
Read "Another Day in Fucking Paradise" CD/LP/Track Review Another Day in Fucking Paradise
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 6, 2016
Read "Fellow Creatures" CD/LP/Track Review Fellow Creatures
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 25, 2016
Read "Do Right" CD/LP/Track Review Do Right
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 28, 2016
Read "All The Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review All The Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 12, 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!

Buy it!