A treasure trove of rare work from the obscure German Ego label – four different albums, all of them great – packaged here in tiny LP-styled covers too! The set's especially noteworthy for the work of British saxophonist Alan
Skidmore – working here on some of his best material of the late 70s – records that easily rival the best sides cut back home in the UK, but which also have a very different feel and flavor! On Morning Rise, Skidmore plays tenor and soprano sax, alongside Gerd Dudek, who also plays both horns too – in these long, textural lines that merge and diverge nicely with Skidmore's – creating these majestic shapes in sound, before then taking off towards much more powerful solos. Rhythm is from Adelhard Rodiginger on bass and Lala Kovacev on drums – and titles include "Morning Rise", "Macedonian Market", "Dr Les Mosses", and "Nakemiin". SOH is a trio outing from Alan
Skidmore, drummer Tony Oxley, and bassist Ali Haurand – hence the title – and the set really allows Skidmore to expand on some of his most open, expressive lines on tenor and soprano sax! Tracks are quite long, and build with this almost late-Coltrane sort of energy – almost glowing with a sense of spirituality that's pushed along strongly by the reed lines. Titles include "One Two Free", "Das Ist Alice", "Lost In WG", and "Trio Nr 10". European Jazz Quintet features tremendous reeds from the trio of Alan
Skidmore, Gerd Dudek, and Leszek Zadlo – all of whom play both tenor and soprano sax – and work alongside the bass of Ali Haurand and drums of Pierr Courbois! The set features two long tracks – "Das Ist Alice" and "Miss B" – both of them balan
ced nicely on the cusp between European free jazz and some stronger spiritual jazz structures, in a very nice way. Last up is Thoughts, from Leszek Zadlo – a record that has Zadlo on both flute and tenor, working with the excellent Ego Records rhythm trio of Joe Haider on piano, Isla Eckinger on bass, and Joe Nay on drums! The sound is quite different than other Ego sessions with the trio – as the tracks here build very slowly, often through the initial utterings of Zadlo on his reeds – kind of growing into a spiritually expressive style that gets increasingly focused as the set goes on – in ways that are a nice change from European free jazz. Titles include "Two Friends", "Some Body", "Struggle", and "Thoughts".