This UK trio uses the distorted edges of the Hammond Organ to knock the socks off of conventional organ jazz in riveting and downright terrifying approaches to free improvisation.
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Label: Bo Weavil Recordings
Catalog ID: WEAVIL 040CD
Squidco Product Code: 12640
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve
Recorded by Anna Tjan at Eastcore Studios, London on March 20, 2009.
Alexander Hawkins-Hammond C3 organ
John Edwards-double bass
Steve Noble-drums, cymbals
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1. Outside In 5:42
2. Who's Who 2:46
3. Decoy 10:35
4. Episode No. 69 9:42
5. Native Origins 14:12
6. Shadows 4:39
Related Categories of Interest:
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Piano & Keyboards
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
sample the album:
"The disturbing, distorted Hammond organ sound is a natural fit for a free jazz combo. With a pedigree including low-cost church pipe organ substitute, novelty instrument (vide Walt Disney's Blame It On The Samba, part of his 1948 animated film Melody Time, where a Carmen Mirandered Ethel Smith plays a Hammond as it's blown to bits by 'toon Aracuan) and jazz cool tool bar none courtesy of Smiths - Jimmy and Dr Lonnie - McGriff, Patton, Young et al, the B3 and Leslie cabinet's overblown bastard tones one minute toying, the next destroying, were made to play the freedom sound.
Ra did it (free jazz funk on Lanquidity, 1978) but the Hammond has been over-looked by the improv community. Which is a surprise as it combines huge tonal potential with visceral attack, speed of articulation and sheer presence and volume that, when geared to a powerhouse drum 'n bass combo (as here), creates compelling, reality-jarring music. Alexander Hawkins has a pipe organ background (which is the ideal grounding for the Hammond - you can hear his churchy tones during this album's playout) and exploits the potential of the C3 to the full - pulls out all the stops, in fact. From the interstellar sounds of the opening Outside In and slick be-bopisms of Decoy to some fine spine-juddering scronches interspersed in Shadows.
Rhythm team Noble and Edwards never let it rest (of course), interjecting - injecting, imposing, prompting, inspiring, kick-assing and generally motoring along in fine style. It takes great players at the top of their game to play solo and rhythm at one and the same time without compromising either role and Noble and Edwards together are able to effectively lock down a groove while using their own instruments (Noble's cymbal work, Edwards bowing) to counterpoint Hawkins' organ's additive waveform synthesis, almost becoming tone generators themselves, so at times the three fuse in one, augmented, Hammond."-Bo Weavil
• Show Bio for Alexander Hawkins
"Alexander Hawkins is a composer, pianist, organist, and bandleader who is 'unlike anything else in modern creative music' (Ni Kantu) and whose recent work has reached a 'dazzling new apex' (Downbeat). A largely self-taught improviser, he works in a vast array of creative contexts. His own highly distinctive soundworld is forged through the search to reconcile both his love of free improvisation and profound fascination with composition and structure. In 2012, he was chosen as a member of the first edition of the London Symphony Orchestra's 'Soundhub' scheme for young composers. He also received a major BBC commission in late 2012 for a fifty minute composition: One Tree Found was first performed and broadcast in March 2013, and was subsequently performed and broadcast for the WDR in Cologne (2014). He has also twice been commissioned by the London Jazz Festival (once as composer, once as an arranger), and by the Cheltenham Jazz Festival (2016).
An in-demand sideman, Hawkins continues to be heard live and on record with vast array of contemporary leaders of all generations, including the likes of Evan Parker, John Surman, Joe McPhee, Mulatu Astatke, Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, Marshall Allen, Rob Mazurek, Taylor Ho Bynum, and Harris Eisenstadt, amongst many others. He has also been noted in recent years for his performances in the bands of legendary South African drummer, Louis Moholo-Moholo. Concert appearances have taken him to club, concert and festival stages worldwide."-Alexander Hawkins Website (http://www.alexanderhawkinsmusic.com/biographyimages.html)
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• Show Bio for John Edwards
"After taking up the bass, around 1987, John Edwards co-formed The Pointy Birds who went on to win awards for their music for The Cholmondeleys and Featherstonehaughs dance troupes. The group appeared at festivals in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Moers, Leverkusen, Copenhagen. Around 1990, Edwards played his first gigs with London improvisers such as Roger Turner, Lol Coxhill, Maggie Nicols, Phil Minton.
Between 1990 and 1995 Edwards was a member of three touring groups simultaneously: B-Shops For The Poor, The Honkies and GOD. During this period he also became an increasingly regular player on the London improvised music scene and performed his first solo gigs; he composed and performed music theatre with the bass and cello duo The Great Explorers, street-busked a lot and appeared at many more festivals in Germany, Estonia, France, Italy, Czech, etc.
Since 1995 John Edwards has become a "mainstay" of the London scene, playing with just about everybody, an activity that has seen him clocking up between 150 and 200 gigs a year. He has become regular player with Evan Parker, in many groupings, and with Tony Bevan, Veryan Weston, and Elton Dean, often in collaboration with Mark Sanders on percussion. He has become a more frequent player on the European (and festival) scene, appearing at Taktlos, Ulrichsburg, Nickelsdorf, Budapest, New Zealand and in the USA. He continues to work on solo performances."-EFI (http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/musician/medwards.html)
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• Show Bio for Steve Noble
"Steve Noble is London's leading drummer, a fearless and constantly inventive improviser whose super-precise, ultra-propulsive and hyper-detailed playing has galvanized encounters with Derek Bailey, Matthew Shipp, Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, Stephen O'Malley, Joe McPhee, Alex Ward, Rhodri Davies and many, many more.
In the early eighties, Noble played with the Nigerian master drummer Elkan Ogunde, Rip Rig and Panic, Brion Gysin and the Bow Gamelan Ensemble, before going on to work with the pianist Alex Maguire and with Derek Bailey (including Company Weeks 1987, 89 and 90). He was featured in the Bailey's excellent TV series on Improvisation for Channel 4 based on his book 'Improvisation; its nature and practise'. He has toured and performed throughout Europe, Africa and America and currently leads the groups N.E.W (with John Edwards and Alex Ward) and DECOY (with John Edwards and Alexander Hawkins)."-https://www.cafeoto.co.uk/artists/steve-noble/ (Cafe Oto Website)
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