A strong and enthralling set of dialogs captured live from the working duo of pianist Stephen Grew and saxophonist Trevor Watts on alto & soprano, intricate exchanges of great energy but also great compassion and introspection, a well-rounded set of adventurous exchanges that highlight the incredible skills of both players.
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Catalog ID: 61CD
Squidco Product Code: 23933
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Lancaster Baptist Church, Lancaster, UK, on January 18th and 20th, 2017, by Shaun Blezard.
Trevor Watts-alto saxophone, soprano saxophone
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1. Shepherd's Return 8:55
2. Contours 7:33
3. All There Is 16:53
4. Tunnels 6:27
5. Bird's Eating 7:31
6. They're All Home 9:06
7. Sea Evidence 4:13
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
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"It's been said on quite a few occasions after concerts of this duo, that it sounds as though there's a real affinity within the playing. This comes through very much so in their new recording All There Is. Within it they use the full spectrum of dynamics and techniques that have been developed individually over their differing careers. Watts' roots go back to the very beginnings of improvised music as a founder member of the SME in the 1960's and Stephen Grew has been part of the Improvised Music scene since 1994 and has played consistently on the national and international circuit, both as a soloist and in numerous collaborations.
The combination of their playing styles leads for a very potent and visceral experience, but also has interludes of great tenderness. The music has both a relaxed, and "on the edge" feel at the same time, as all truly improvised music has. Relaxed because that's the way the play it, and on the edge because nobody, let alone the musicians, knows where it's going. But the previously mentioned affinity is the glue that makes it all work ever so well together!"-Discus
• Show Bio for Trevor Watts
"Trevor Charles Watts (born 26 February 1939 in York) is an English jazz and free-improvising alto and soprano saxophonist. He is largely self-taught, having taken up the cornet at age 12 then switched to saxophone at 18. While stationed in Germany with the RAF (1958-63), he encountered the drummer John Stevens and trombonist Paul Rutherford. After being demobbed he returned to London. In 1965 he and Stevens formed the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, which became one of the crucibles of British free improvisation. Watts left the band to form his own group Amalgam in 1967, then returned to SME for another stretch that lasted until the mid-1970s. Another key association was with the bassist Barry Guy and his London Jazz Composers' Orchestra, an association that lasted from the band's inception in the 1970s up to its (permanent?) disbandment in the mid-1990s.
Though he was initially strongly identified with the avant-garde, Watts is a versatile musician who has worked in everything from straight jazz contexts to rock and blues. His own projects have come increasingly to focus on blending jazz and African music, notably the Moiré Music ensemble which he has led since 1982 in configurations ranging from large ensembles featuring multiple drummers to more intimate trios. He has only occasionally recorded in freer modes in recent years, notably the CD 6 Dialogues, a duet album with Veryan Weston (the pianist in earlier editions of Moiré Music). A solo album, World Sonic, appeared on Hi4Head Records in 2005.
Watts has toured the world over numerous times, run workshops, received grants and commissions, and he has collaborated with some of the great jazz musicians including Archie Shepp, Steve Lacy, Don Cherry and Jayne Cortez. As of 2011, he continues to travel and toured North American with Veryan Weston."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trevor_Watts)
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• Show Bio for Stephen Grew
"Stephen Grew has been playing piano and electronic keyboards for 25 years. His music is completely improvised. He creates spontaneous compositions with other musicians in the heat of the moment. He also performs as a soloist. He is based in Lancaster, UK, and has toured extensively, touring and recording with many musicians from the free improvised scene here in Britain and abroad. Performing in Grutronic, a four piece electronic band, and Grew Trio, Grew Quartet and Grew & Grew. He has also performed with Evan Parker, Keith Tippett, Graham Clark, Pat Thomas, Howard Riley and many others. Long standing collaborators are his brother, Nicholas Grew, Richard Scott, David Ross and Philip Marks.
"I have devote all of my energies to making music, completely made in the moment, improvised. I play with some great musicians, Gulliver Maxwell an alto saxophone player and other Lancastrian players. My first band was with Steve Lewis and George McKay (Charivari) in 1995. I have toured consistently since 1996, in Grew Trio with the great Mancunian players, drummer Phillip Marks and sax/electronics player Richard Scott who I met through Steve Lewis in 1995. We have mainly performed in Britain but also performed in prestigious Modern music festivals in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Latvia and Canada. In 2000 Richard Scott left Grew trio and after a duo collaboration with Sheffield based sax/bassoon player Mick Beck, Mick joined Grew trio to form Grew Quartet in 2006, with Oxford based bass player Dominic Lash. At times I have had to work as a shop keeper, assembler of golf trolleys, gardener and fisherman. My current work takes me to working in Grutronic, (Myspace.com/grutronicmusic) with guests Evan Parker, Orphy Robinson, Paul Obermayer and Grew quartet, a recent Orchestral project with Nicholas Grew and duos featuring violinist Graham Clark, drummer Tony Bianco, Phillip Marks, and drummer / electronics musician David Ross all of whom are based outside of Lancaster. Our music comes out of a need to play music and communicate with sound at the moments of creating it, this process becomes very refined over many years. The long periods of time devoting the workman like instrumentalists approach to making this kind of music, creates a greater clarity of playing and composing, until a bit of magic conversation appears!"-Stephen Grew"-Stephen Grew Website (http://stepgrew.wixsite.com/stephengrewpianist/biography)
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