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

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Richard Johnson and Jud Martindale - Creatures of Habit – For those interested with tracking down the roots of master acoustic fret bender, Richard Leo Johnson, look no further! Uncovered from the independent release catacombs is a 1993 gem from Johnson and...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover

Merkaba streaming



Print issues