SLAM CD256 Klusterbuckstuckle
Tracks: Rekelecterak, Klusterbuckstuckle, Arpaloogy, Froomillais
Style: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
Musicians: Elton Dean (saxes), Jim Dvorak (trumpet), Tim Crowther (guitar/guitar synth), John Edwards (bass), Jim Lebaigue (drums)
On paper, this quintet would most assuredly signify those who are among the crème de la crème of Britain's jazz and/or jazz-rock movements. With this release, the artists' do not disappoint or perform below expectations. Listen to electric guitarist Tim Crowther's spacey and somewhat ominous chord voicings on Rekelecterak, where Elton Dean's alto sax work rides atop a burgeoning mid-tempo swing vamp. Highlights are plentiful here and the band's decision to work through lengthy pieces stacks up rather well. They afford themselves time to develop mini-themes amid sequences of budding, improvisational episodes and a few burning meltdowns.
Dean and trumpeter Jim Dvorak often engage in free-form opuses while also trading vapid fours. Essentially, the band stirs the pot pretty hard. On "Arpaloogy," Crowther institutes a decisive edge via his phased, chop chords atop the driving rhythms, as Dean and Dvorak shoot for the stars. On that note, the musicians' generally get to the point in rather expeditious fashion, while conveying an uncanny ability to sound unhurried yet undeniably deterministic. The music presented here crosses a few genres, spanning free improv, jazz-rock and hard swinging, avant-bop. But it's the artists' distinctive styles and breath of execution that provides a rather chic methodology that gains steam on repeated spins. (Recommended listening…)
Glenn Astarita www.jazzreview.com
The Guardian Friday December 10, 2004
Organon is a British quintet including former Soft Machine saxophonist Elton Dean and District 6 trumpeter Jim Dvorak. The four pieces (they all have names about as impenetrable as the title) were recorded on this imaginative free-jazz session as a real-time improvisation on one day in September 2002.
But if the music is uncompromisingly loose and open, it isn't atonal, arrhythmic or wilfully indifferent to the audience appeal of signposts. An atmosphere of late-Miles electronic ambiguity is sometimes created by the sound of the horns against Tim Crowther's thick-layered guitar chords; Elton Dean's squirming sax figures are often astutely mirrored or punctuated by Dvorak's bristling trumpet inventions; the great John Edwards on bass creates a feeling of purposeful drive, and drummer Jim Lebaigue could have dropped just as equably into a bebop session.
Hi-Fi News, January 2005
Fads sweep over the record-buying public, but musicians carry on regardless. Soft Machine's saxophonist Elton Dean keeps convening the best of Britain's musicians to try again at that powerful, open music which was jazz-rock before Fusion and CBS transformed it into a predictable quantity. It is fascinating to hear John Edwards play double bass that's so compressed and processed it sounds like an electric axe. The rest of the quintet are equally distinguished: Jim Dvorak (trumpet), Tim Crowther (guitar) and Jim Lebaigue (drums).
Everything's instantly arranged. Groove and harmony are never absent, but nor is Dean's Traneish pleading for freedom and Crowther's canny psychedelia. The improvised studio mix plus sudden glints of forgotten 1970s utopias: electro modal folk funk improv, real ale, a real trip. A welcome sign of life from an undead genre (anyone remember Soft Heap?). Fans of John Surman's morning Glory should investigate - Glastonbury ravers too.
Performance: groovy, confident, organic.
Recording: rich, unreal, yet persuasive.
The Wire, November 2004
Trumpeter Jim Dvorak doesn't put in an appearance until nearly eight minutes into the opening track, creating the misleading impression that this might be an Elton Dean quartet album, teaming the saxophonist with guitarist Tim Crowther, bassist John Edwards (in strikingly good form) and drummer Jim Lebaigue. True to type, though Dvorak immediately adds a new dimension, wirier and more abstract than the rolling freebop Dean instinctively favours. Klusterbuckstuckle is vintage British improv, even if the vintages and provenances are mixed. There are moments when the front line sounds like Ric Colbeck with Mike Osborne, but this group has a more rugged personality than those guys. The title track blusters but the more reflective "Arpaloogy" demonstrates what they are made of and what a find Crowther is.
Questa recensione è stata letta 105 volte
Jazz e Omeopatia di Vittorio Lo Conte
L´Organon di Samuel Hahnemann è il testo base della Omeopatia unicista e ci si chiede come un gruppo musicale abbia potuto prendere a prestito un tale nome. In ogni caso non dà disturbi alla musica e per gli ascoltatori non ci sono effetti collaterali, forse gli autori ci vogliono indicare che la loro è una musica dolce?
Dopo Free Jazz di Ornette Coleman sono stati in pochi a dedicarsi all´improvvisazione collettiva e fra questi c´è da mettere John Stevens ed il suo Spontaneous Music Ensemble in Inghilterra. Gli Organon, anche loro di Londra, proseguono su questa linea firmando un´ottima prova discografica. Elton Dean ai sassofoni, Jim Dvorak alla tromba, Tim Crowther alla chitarra elettrica, John Edwards al contrabbasso e Jim Lebaigue alla batteria hanno l´esperienza per far decollare le loro intense improvvisazioni e per farsi ascoltare senza remore dagli appassionati del genere. Non hanno (re)inventato il free jazz, ma
Klusterbuckstuckle si pone tra le cose migliori in questo campo. "Rekelecterak", il brano di apertura, è una cover nascosta di A Love Supreme di John Coltrane, la cui melodia aleggia più volte all´interno del contesto. Un modo poco ortodosso di prestare omaggio al grande
sassofonista ma di sicura efficacia.
Seguono poi delle lunghe improvisazioni in cui i musicisti si cercano e si trovano all´interno di grovigli di melodie e ritmi (bravissimi Edwards e Lebaigue, capaci di generare uno swing leggero che fa "decollare" gli altri solisti) costruendo architetture sempre piú complesse tenute in piedi dalla forza collettiva.
I musicisti inglesi sono da anni attivi nei campi musicali più diversi e qui sembrano divertirsi e dare il massimo su un tipo di linguaggio da cui c´è da aspettarsi poco successo commerciale, ma che troverà il consenso dei - pochi - appassionati di questo genere. In ogni caso un´incisione senza data di scadenza.
Questa recensione è stata letta 105 volte
Jazz e Omeopatia di Vittorio Lo Conte
Jazz Review November 2004
I used to live opposite saxophonist Elton Dean and I well remember hearing him in his room during the day running up and down the scales, just like any other horn player. Like others of his ilk, he leaves all that behind in his performances, which are free and not altogether easy. Yes, I also remember Dean's Jazz Rumours club over a pub on Stoke Newington High Street.
In Klusterbuckstuckle, made two years ago, he is joined by another veteran free-man of London, trumpet player Jim Dvorak. Here, together with a quintet that includes synth axeman Tim Crowther, Organon makes spontaneously improvised music that is both capricious and mildly unsettling. Sheets of sound from Crowther's guitar crowd around the horn players' controlled cacophony, Lebaigue's drums and Edwards' bass do everything except provide the accepted role of rhythm accompaniment. There's not much to cling onto in this turbulent sea of sound, save the brilliant note quality of Dean's saxophones (all that practice is paying off). What Klusterbuckstuckle does have is an intense tidal energy and unflagging self belief. But the overall effect on the ears is of an impassioned cry for, er, something or other; not waving, not drowning. It is simply hard to make sense of.
In a recent interview, Dean said that he was discovering a resurgence of interest in his music in the US, provoked by re-releases of the Soft Machine back catalogue. This begs the question, why doesn't he get back into something more, dare I say it, coherent and open up his audience again as in the glory days?
Rekelecterak / Klusterbuckstuckle / Arpaloogy / Froomillais.
Elton Dean, saxes; Jim Dvorak, tpt; Tim Crowther, g,
synth; John Edwards, b; Jim Lebaigue, d. 9/29/02, no
Rounding out this batch, (9) carries a title that twists the tongue upon enunciation. The accompanying music achieves a similar contortionist bent, sometimes wriggling in uncomfortable directions, but other times locking on a pleasing blend of consonant constituents. Vestiges of Dean's seminal Soft Machine flavor the ensemble sound, which neatly straddles acoustic improv and prog rock influences. The first several minutes of "Rekelecterak," where Crowther's phosphorescent guitar slowly smolders within a stuttering rhythm set up by Lebaigue and Edwards, prompted me to get up and check whether my disc player was skipping. It wasn't. The choppy preface coalesces into an ambient-heavy springboard for Dean's lean snake charmer soprano, which eventually goes about quoting Coltrane.
The disc's four lengthy excursions carry the atmosphere of congenial jams, with trajectories not signaled by written notation, but instead by the whims of one or more of the players. Their shared moniker Organon reflects this sort of cooperative, organic mindset. Amiable adjustability leads to some rickety transitions as the five men react to and settle upon bearings for the music. Points arise, as during the aforementioned opener, where the easygoing pace steers close to water-treading stasis and the players peter out when they might be better served ending with a bang. But more often the five manage to curb the downsides of their casual repartee and create music that lodges pleasurably in the brain pan.
The title track bustles from the start with everyone sprinting at different speeds creating a pleasing bottleneck of converging lines. Suddenly the density dissolves and Dvorak's crisp trumpet moves out front, flanked by Crowther, Edwards and Lebaigue. Space constricts as Dean joins the action on what sounds like his signature saxello and the five are once again covering ground at an accelerating clip. Several near stumbles ensue, but the ensemble largely maintains the rigorous sweatbrowed pace. Rogers is particularly bracing on his amplified strings, coaxing all manner of elastic, warbling tones from their battered surfaces. The disc's second half opens with the ambient strains of "Arpaloogy" where lucent guitar washes mix with floating cymbals, fluttering melancholy sax and incessant Morse code drones from Rogers' bass. Elements swirl and eddy with focus cycling between instruments, but never rooted in one place for very long. Remarkably, even in the music's most diffuse passages the band sustains a palpable forward momentum. The finale, "Froomillais," starts deceptively loose as well with the opening minutes finding the players hashing out common ground before the clouds roll in and the five are once again trading ornery riffs atop a palpitating rhythmic push. The piece crescendos on an arching wave erected by Crowther's synth, leaving it in listeners' hands to repeat the trip from the top.
©Cadence Magazine 2005. http://www.cadencebuilding.com/