The trio of New Zealand saxophonist Lucien Johnson, living in Paris, with the rhythm section of Alan Silva on double bass and Makoto Sato on drums for an expressive album of free jazz with inventive counterpoint and soulful playing in the Ayler tradition.
Johnson, Lucien / Alan Silva / Makoto Sato
Label: Improvising Beings
Released in: France
Lucien Johnson (b. 1981), hailing from Wellington, New Zealand, is probably the lesser known of the three members of this band, he spent some years in Paris at the end of last decade, the period during which he recorded this beautiful performance with Alan Silva (b. 1939) on double bass, and Makoto Sato (b. 1946) on drums, two veterans of the free jazz scene. Even if the rhythm section is twice the age of the frontman, he does not seem to be inhibited too much by it, and plays his role really well, at the same time offering lots of space to Silva and Sato. Johnson's tone on tenor is warm and round, and his playing offers a perfect balance between nervous energy, soulful howling and rhythmic phrases, in a sense that has almost become unusual in Europe's free improv scene, without abstractions, over-blowing or extended techniques."Stef, freejazzblog.org
"As much as time ever travels onward there are artists and musics that will not be forgotten, no matter what comes after. One of those artists on the new jazz scene of course is Alan Silva, a monster jazz composer and bandleader, a creative force on orchestral synth, and a giant of a bassist, one of the few absolutely key ones in the flowering of "free jazz."
So when just now a new recording of a date from 2006 comes our way, with a lively trio of Alan on bass, Lucien Johnson on tenor, and Makato Sato on drums, I perk up. The album is Stinging Nettles (Improvising Beings 29), and it is a real winner on all counts.
You get Alan in full-strength form on bass, a very lucid Lucien Johnson on tenor, and master drummer Makato Sato.
It's an excellent free set that brings the best playing of the three to the fore. New Zealander Johnson not only keeps up with these two iconic freewheelers, he excels in his role. This fellow surprises you with a real sense of free-form virtuosity that fits right in with the cohesive vibrance of Alan and Makato.
There are eight numbers in all here. And every one has that special something of free inspiration and enough variety that the ears and soul get plenty of spiritual-aural substance to appreciate and get rocketed out with.
You could just listen to Alan alone and get a kind of tutorial of free bass acumen in action. But then all three are saying something throughout. So if I might, I'd like to recommend this one to you heartily."-Grego Applegate Edwards, Gapplegate Guitar and Bass Blog
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Label: Improvising Beings
Catalog ID: ib29
Squidco Product Code: 21021
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at Studio Campus, in Paris, France in November 2006 by Jean-Marc Foussat.
Lucien Johnson-tenor saxophone
Alan Silva-double bass
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1. Stinging Netties 7:28
2. Abora 5:26
3. Copper Sky 6:27
4. Family Silva 7:15
5. Pieces Of Eight 4:04
6. Ice Shelf 7:18
7. Burnt Fingers 9:03
8. Rhyme Nor Reason 4:41