Elton Dean — QED
(Blueprint BP339CD, 2000, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2005-09-01
Elton Dean’s recent associations with Hammond organ specialist Alex Maguire (as heard on HUX’s excellent release Psychic Warrior) have been gradually building over time. QED is one of the first recording dates with Maguire and drummer Tony Bianco that capture a return of sorts to the inspired signpost of Dean’s Soft Machine days. This trio gets two cuts on the recording: the first song, “Hammond X” is informed by the ghost of Tony Williams Lifetime as Dean spends time on Fender Rhodes against Maguire’s pensive but effective tones. The trio’s other piece ends the disc, “New Roads” which is perhaps a bit more into Brian Auger territory but the trio are playing at breakneck speed to end the recording on a substantial high note. Maguire is retained on piano for two freer excursions with Roberto Bellatalla and Mark Sanders handling the rhythm duties. Their first performance, “Quartered,” is a loosely structured piece with Maguire comping against Sander’s loose tempo and Bellatalla’s adept anchoring. The latter piece, “Altored Saint,” is a saner improvisation with Dean and Maguire introducing an intuitive dialog before the upright bass enters with a few careful brush strokes on the snare. On “Sax.com” Dean is joined by three fellow sax men (Paul Dunmall, Simon Picard and Jason Yarde) for a somber English take on San Francisco’s Rova sax quartet. Jim Dvorak and Nick Evans join Dean and Sanders on the longest improv, “Deep Crease,” which is the definitive performance on the disc. In summary Dean has rarely delivered anything but high quality collaborations between various configurations across the years.
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more