Doubt — Never Pet a Burning Dog
(Moonjune MJR032, 2010, CD)
Keyboardist Alex Maguire's new trio, flavored with the occasional Canterbury tinge, is a testament to the durability of that jazz-rock essence on European musicians. Maguire's insane fuzzy electric piano lines lay the groundwork for guitarist Michel Delville's aggressive lead guitar phrases. Maguire played free jazz with the late Elton Dean (who introduced Doubt's members to each other) before taking Dave Stewart's chair in the short-lived Hatfield and the North reunion. In this context he expertly swipes Dave Macrae's gritty distorted keyboard style, driving a fierce theme to its logical conclusion like the best Matching Mole live archival performances. Both Delville and drummer Tony Bianco come fully prepared from their various jazz fusion efforts in The Wrong Object. Richard Sinclair lends his bass guitar and vocals to three pieces, including the pastoral "Corale di San Luca" that leads into "Laughing." His vocals sound very much like what Robert Wyatt might sing in the same circumstances. Terje Rypdal's "Over Bikerot" is given a proper treatment by the trio line-up which is surprisingly full despite the lack of a proper bass player. Bianco's two pieces ("Sea" and "Aeon") showcase the drummer's fierce snare work and ability to create a linear playground for the other players' textural sounds. Sinclair also croons "Passing Cloud" which sports a disturbing, squirmy "Devil's Triangle" Mellotron accompaniment that works well. The gothic Van der Graaf tone of "Cosmic Surgery" has a spaghetti Western air. Fans of the end of Robert Wyatt's tour of duty with Soft Machine will rejoice with this well-crafted work.
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more