Exposé Online banner

Spring Heel Jack — Amassed
(Thirsty Ear THI57123.2, 2002, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2003-08-01

Amassed Cover art

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?


Filed under: New releases, Issue 27, 2002 releases

Related artist(s): Evan Parker, Matthew Shipp, Spring Heel Jack, Kenny Wheeler

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Osanna - Preludio Tema Variazioni Canzona (Milano Calibro 9) – This album represents the intersection of a number of trends going on in Italy at the time it was made. One was for rock bands to adopt Classical forms, sometimes even involving actual orchestras (New...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues