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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Paul Hession, Alan Wilkinson, Simon Fell - Two Falls & A Submission (Bo Weavil, 2011) ****½

By Stef

This album will surely blow your socks off, and I can already start by highly recommending it to anyone interested in forceful free jazz and in sax trios. The band is Alan Wilkinson on alto and baritone sax, Simon H. Fell on double bass, and Paul Hession on drums. The three lengthy pieces on this album are freely improvised, yet all three have an uncanny sense of unity and direction : raw, merciless, powerful, loud, but interestingly enough never noisy - although that is of course relative.

The trio has been playing and recording together for the last twenty years, and that can be heard, felt even, as all three move forward as a three-headed monster, but then one with a heart as big as it is raw, because they do not shy away from emotional delivery. Sometimes the storm dies down a little for slower, calmer moments, yet the intensity and the raw sensitivity never diminish, an amazing accomplishment.

The trio demonstrates how musical drive, expressivity and forward motion can be achieved without clear rhythm but with incredible pulse and collective energy.

You could ask whether I have not heard this kind of music before, and you can ask how it differs from Frode Gjerstad trios or Paul Dunmall trios or The Thing or ....and the answer is yes to the first question, this is not new nor innovative, yet it differs from Gjerstad and Dunmall and Gustafsson because the trio developed its own approach over the years, and one they bring to perfection on this album.

It is in any case their best album so far, rawer and with a more attentive audience than on "Bogey's", with more unity and coherence than "Foom! Foom!", less chaotic and with better sound quality than "The Horrors Of Darmstadt",   ... and it shows how the trio has managed to perfect its style and approach, making it even more direct, more impactful and cohesive.

The real deal in free jazz!

Listen and buy from Bandcamp or eMusic.

© stef


joesh said...

Great band. They made a excellent BBC session a few months ago if I remember correctly.

Looks really interesting.