A really overlooked album from one of the most understated players on the UK improvising scene of the 70s and 80s – violinist PhilWachsmann, who works here in a fantastic array of sounds and styles! Phil plays violin, but also uses a fair bit of electronics – and the result is partly free jazz, in the tradition of Leroy Jenkins or Billy Bang – and partly minimalist expression on the core instrument – these subtle sonic flows that have wonderful cycles that amplify the moments of individual expression from Wachsmann in really beautiful ways! The sound is every bit as evocative as the title of the record – which is maybe also a great indication of the sense of flow in Phil's approach here – on two long tracks, "Water Writing" and "Writing In Water". CD
Jessica Pavone plays viola and handles the compositions here – with a group that's less an ensemble than a well-matched trio – with Abby Swidler on viola, and Erica Dicker and Angela Morris on violins! The group's a bit like a string quartet, but with an extra viola instead of a cello – but the sound here is much more in the mode of some of the giants of avant jazz violin from years back – some of the careful textures of Leroy Jenkins, mixed with some of the lower sonic ranges of PhilWachsmann, and an overall execution that has some of the more complex sonic elements as Roscoe Mitchell's orchestrations for strings. The album features four long tracks, all with a very drawn-out, almost minimalist approach – as the quartet slow-builds their way into tunes that have a very spacious vibe. Titles include "Lost & Found", "Nice & Easy", "Rise & Fall", and "Pros & Cons". CD
Partial matches: 3
Stellari String Quartet (Wachsmann/Hug/Mattos/Edwards) —
Vulcan ... CD Emanem (UK), 2019. New Copy ...
A string quartet, but one with a real difference – as all the members here are long-skilled improvisers, which makes the performance very different than usual for such a group! And instead, the record should be thought of more as a set of free jazz by a group with stringed instruments – Philipp Wachsmann on violin, Charlotte Hug on viola, Marcio Mattos on cello, and John Edwards on double bass – all coming together with the sorts of revolutionary sounds that were first unlocked during a generation of 70s string improvisation, taken here to fantastic new directions! Some moments are very sonically subtle, others are more dynamic – and titles include "Tujle", "Pulvermaar", "Dallol", "Ambrym", "Batu Tara", and "Mauna Kea". CD
London Jazz Composers Orchestra —
That Time ... CD Not Two (Poland), 1972/1980. New Copy ...
Very rare work from this legendary improvising orchestra – two different recordings from the first decade or so of the group's existence, at a time when they were hardly making any records at all! The first two long tracks are from a 1972 performances in Germany – and feature an early version of the group conducted by Buxton Orr, but with leader Barry Guy in strong formation – in a very large lineup that includes saxes from Evan Parker, Mike Osborne, Trevor Watts, and Alan Wakeman; trumpets from Kenny Wheeler, Harry Beckett, Mark Charig, and Dave Holdsworth; trombones from Paul Rutherford, Mike Gibbs, and Paul Nieman; guitar from Derek Bailey; piano from Howard Riley; percussion and drums from Paul Lytton and Tony Oxley; and more bass from Jeff Clyne and Chris Laurence. The players' ability to move in ways that are both cohesive and individual is breathtaking – on the long selections "Watts Parker Beckett To Me Mr Riley" and "Statements III". Next are two more tracks recorded in London in 1980 – one live, one studio – with some of the same players, but also the addition of Peter Brotzmann and Tony Coe on saxes, Philipp Wachsmann on violin, and John Stevens on percussion – on the tracks "Quasimode III" and "Appolysian". CD
Excellent 70s work from Tony Oxley – a record that features the legendary drummer in three different settings! The set features two quartet tracks with a very string-heavy sound – the bass and bass guitar of Barry Guy, the violins of David Bourne and Philipp Wachsmann, and even some more violin from Oxley, who handles electronics as well as drums – in a sublime melding of sounds that seems to take most of the instruments way past their usual territory! Wachsmann returns on two more tracks, which also include Ian Brighton on guitar – very sonic-sensitive improvisations that really show the more sensitive side of Oxley's work on drums, as well as more electronics. The set lastly features three tracks with Tony just on percussion and electronics – maybe the most compelling of the batch, as the result of textures he makes on his own is breathtaking. Titles include "Trio", "Chant Quartet", "Sounds Of The Soil", "Brushes", "Combination", and "Quartet 1". CD