Spring Heel Jack — Amassed
(Thirsty Ear THI57123.2, 2002, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2003-08-01
Coxon and Wales are at it again! The results of their first attempts to assimilate free jazz into techno on their last album only fueled the fire for further attempts to create valid collages underneath world-class soloists. This experiment gets a lot further out of the petri dish with some wild combinations and exaltations. Back again is noted jazz improviser Evan Parker who graces the open track and renders the landscape futile by shear force. And this is the direction of the entire disc’s eight tracks, moody, temperamental, and inspired. “Wormwood” opens with a blues mode against remote church bells in the background before transitioning into a storming fury of feedback that harkens back to the days of the early Tony Williams Lifetime. “Lit” is almost religious in terms of a small backing drone and Kenny Wheeler’s uplifting fluegelhorn. “100 Years Before” is where it all comes together for the brass section of Wheeler/Parker who find their footing over Han Bennink’s spatial drumming. The best piece is the ominous closing track, “Obscured,” that begins with a bass synth pulse that gets steadily more alarming. Mathew Shipp’s keyboard and J Spaceman’s electric guitars are more than adept at segueing against Paul Rutherford’s intense trombone blasts. Overall, Coxon and Wales operate well as soundscape template creators for their acclaimed soloists to navigate and eventually land on. With a live album and DVD in the works, can the world be far behind in recognizing their innovative impetus?
Roswell Rudd RIP – Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, one of the distinctive players of his instrument in many strains of music, has died at the age of 82. With a career stretching back to the early 60s and over a hundred recordings featuring his playing, he leaves behind a substantial legacy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. » Read more
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more