Alan Wilkinson, John Edwards, Steve Noble - Obliquity
Obliquity is a free jazz record through the prism of the improvisational movement in Europe, though. This is no attempt at polite revivalism or looking back/up to the 1960s. Wilkinson/Edwards/Noble are producing new, vital music of and for now. You need form to work at this level of spontaneity and certainty and any frequenter of the outer limits of the European music scene could vouch for the jazz porridge these three have put away.
John Edwards is such a fixture around the London scene these days it's hard to remember who did bass duty before he turned up. Here he pins down the trio with precision and energy - his tremendous internal rhythm on display to full effect throughout. Alan Wilkinson is a ferocious improviser, probably best known for membership of the demon Hession/Wilkinson/Fell trio. Obliquity features full-spectrum Wilkinson: flatouttakenoprisoners saxophonication, squeals, coughs, sustained improvisational experimentation and east London tribal chanting. Fierce and wonderful.Steve Noble is an upright drummer who reminds me of an old photo of Baby Dodds. Articulate, with a surgeon's accuracy, his crisp percussion work has accompanied dancers, funksters, poets and tuba players. But he's not played better than here: great power, allied to grace, a subtle touch and solid time - the drumming drives the music on to real heights. Obliquity: advancing obliquely; deviating from the straight; freedom from the humdrum constraints of time and place.
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