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John Law's New Congregation: These Skies In Which We Rust

Jakob Baekgaard By

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One of the things that is characteristic about British pianist John Law is that he does not stand still. He keeps on studying music and constantly adds new sounds and expressions to his vocabulary.

So far, his career has included many highlights, among them, a series of solo piano albums influenced by plainchant and his tetralogy The Art of Sound Vol. 1-4 (33 Records, 2007-2009).

The double-CD These Skies In Which We Rust is another high-water mark in Law's career. The title track, as well as two other compositions, is influenced by the poetry of his daughter, Holly Law, who also contributes wordless singing to her father's musical interpretation of her poem "I Hold My Soul To The Wind."

Like good poetry, the music is able to contain complex feelings and thoughts while still being able to speak directly to the listener. Law's great talent is that he is able to combine an advanced approach to rhythm and melody with an intuitive understanding of how music communicates on a deeper level.

The album includes experiments with rhythm ("To Do Today: To Die" and "I Sink Therefore I Swam") and subtle use of electronics ("Incarnadine Day" and "When Planets Collide"), but these experiments never become a goal in itself. They are aesthetic choices that add new shades and colors to the compositions.

The lineup on the album finds Law in the company of a new drummer, Laurie Lowe, who has also been a vital part of Law's electronic project Boink! He is able to take the music in different directions and responds empathically to the rhythmic challenges provided by the leader and he knows how to swing.

The bassist, Yuri Goloubev, is the perfect partner for Law. Like him, he combines a thorough understanding of classical and rhythmical music and knows how to combine different aesthetic impressions and transform them into his own sound.

The core of the album is the trio, but saxophonist Josh Arcoleo adds his strong saxophone playing on four compositions. Playing with a saxophonist certainly is not a new thing for Law, who has had a close musical relationship with the saxophonist Jon Lloyd for many years. His collaboration with Arcoleo is promising, but, right now, Arcoleo has already made his mark as an important guest on one of the significant releases in Law's discography and British jazz in general.

Track Listing: CD1: When Planets Collide; Seven Ate Nine; The Music Of The Night; To Do Today: To Die; These Skies In Which We Rust; Lucky 13 (for Jasper Law) CD2: I Sink Therefore I Swim (for Jasper Law); Set Theory; Conical (for Asaf Sirkis); Incarnadine Day; I Hold My Soul To The Wind (for Holly Law)

Personnel: John Law: piano, keyboards, glockenspiel; Yuri Goloubev: double bass; Laurie Lowe: drum, ibo drum; Josh Arcoleo: tenor saxophone (CD1 #3, #4, CD2 #1, #4)

Title: These Skies In Which We Rust | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: 33xtreme

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