A 2 CD issue of the 2013 LP with 78 additional minutes, from the two day residency at UK's Cafe Oto of Decoy (bassist John Edwards, Alexander Hawkins on Hammond B3, and drummer Steve Nobles) with special guest Joe McPhee on pocket trumpet and alto sax.
Decoy with Joe Mcphee
Spontaneous Combustion [2 CDs]
Released in: Great Britain
"There is something deeply intimate in the about eleven minutes of wait and evolution before the real explosion of interplay -- it's a long, slow, precious dovetailing of musical relationships between four great musicians. Joe McPhee starts needling the others through the raucous timbre of his pocket trumpet, balancing some meaningful rich phrases with blown passages. The scattered pizzicato incursions of John Edwards rebound Steve Nobles' sharp bells, muted gongs and minimal percussion. The organ of Alexander Hawkins starts its journey from another world, on sustained high pitch tones slowly developing a second voice in search of dialogue. Then Edwards takes to the bow, moulding low magnetic chords and Noble's rolls becomes sumptuous. It's like watching a group of kids discovering the pleasure and the joy of "playing" together. Organ presence becomes total, though never invasive. Hawkins goes for a luxuriant solo exploring all the colours and the tones offered the by large palette of his instrument, his fingers running along the two-floor keyboard in an endless spiral. He saturates so much the atmosphere that sometimes the result is like a vibrating cluster of unrecognisable and mesmeric chords.
A Hammond B3 tends to be an overwhelming instrument, not just for its size, and the detractors of prog and psychedelic rock, as I am sometimes, can be doubtful about its role. But it really works well in this set.
On the second side, McPhee unsheathes his alto sax giving a different bluesy slow imprint to the sound of the group, while the rhythm section endorses him with sudden time changes. Edward's bass turns out a darker sound. He first dialogues melancholically for several minutes with McPhee while Noble slows down and snaps the rhythm, then he makes his bow scrape a short and involving solo in the instrument's lower register. Finally, he faces a real challenge, playing against the beats and wooden inlays of the drummer. I wonder if it's McPhee screaming somewhere there in the middle. It's around about at the time of Noble's astounding solo on metals and plates enhanced by the water drops effect of Hawkins organ. Soon, the quartet re-joins and closes in a boppish manner.
I can't be wrong: this is definitely genuine, joyous, satisfying and great jazz!
The recording stands as testimony to the second set of the first night of Decoy's two-day residence in Café Oto during October 2011 featuring Joe McPhee."-Paolo Casertano, Free Jazz BlogAlso available on vinyl LP.
• 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 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 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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• Show Bio for Joe McPhee
"Joe McPhee, born November 3,1939 in Miami, Florida, USA, is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, conceptualist and theoretician. He began playing the trumpet at age eight, taught by his father, himself a trumpet player. He continued on that instrument through his formative school years and later in a U.S. Army band stationed in Germany, at which time he was introduced to performing traditional jazz. Clifford Thornton's Freedom and Unity, released in 1969 on the Third World label, is the first recording on which he appears as a side man. In 1968, inspired by the music of Albert Ayler, he took up the saxophone and began an active involvement in both acoustic and electronic music.
His first recordings as leader appeared on the CJ Records label, founded in 1969 by painter Craig Johnson. These include Underground Railroad by the Joe McPhee Quartet (1969), Nation Time (1970), Trinity (1971) and Pieces of Light (1974). In 1975, Swiss entrepreneur Werner X. Uehlinger release Black Magic Man by McPhee, on what was to become Hat Hut Records.
In 1981, he met composer, accordionist, performer, and educator Pauline Oliveros, whose theories of "deep listening" strengthened his interests in extended instrumental and electronic techniques. he also discovered Edward de Bono's book Lateral Thinking: A Textbook of Creativity, which presents concepts for solving problems by "disrupting an apparent sequence and arriving at the solution from another angle." de Bono's theories inspired McPhee to apply this "sideways thinking" to his own work in creative improvisation, resulting in the concept of "Po Music." McPhee describes "Po Music" as a "process of provocation" (Po is a language indicator to show that provocation is being used) to "move from one fixed set of ideas in an attempt to discover new ones." He concludes, "It is a Positive, Possible, Poetic Hypothesis." The results of this application of Po principles to creative improvisation can be heard on several Hat Art recordings, including Topology, Linear B, and Oleo & a Future Retrospective.
In 1997, McPhee discovered two like-minded improvisers in bassist Dominic Duval and drummer Jay Rosen. The trio premiered at the Vision Jazz Festival in 1998 but the concert went unnoticed by the press. McPhee, Duval, and Rosen therefore decided that an apt title for the group would be Trio X. In 2004 he created Survival Unit III with Fred Lonberg-Holm and Michael Zerang to expand his musical horizons and with a career spanning nearly 50 years and over 100 recordings, he continues to tour internationally, forge new connections while reaching for music's outer limits."-Joe McPhee Website (http://joemcphee.com/bio.html)
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Catalog ID: ROKU 002CD
Squidco Product Code: 19599
Format: 2 CDs
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on October 29th, 2011 by Mick Ritchie.
John Edwards-double bass
Alexander Hawkins-Hammond B3 organ
Joe McPhee-pocket trumpet, alto saxophone
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1. Spontaneous Combustion 1 37:27
1. Spontaneous Combustion 2 Set 1 38:08
2. Spontaneous Combustion 2 Set 2 34:23
3. Encore 5:31