Hession/Wilkinson/Fell - Two Falls & A Submission

Two Falls & A Submission


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Hession/Wilkinson/Fell - Two Falls & A Submission

“Greetings, Grapple Fans” were the words that introduced Saturday afternoon wrestling on British commercial
television when all three members of this trio were boys. These memorable words were spoken by a silky-voiced
commentator called Kent Walton, who commentated on the wrestling between 1955 and 1988.
When discussing improvised music one frequently uses analogies and there are three in particular that usually come to
mind: having a conversation, making love, or wrestling. Wrestling seems particularly apt when thinking about the music
of HWF as the group does tend towards a playful, grappling style. This irreverence is conducive to making good music
and it speaks of their ease with each other’s playing that they can throw each other around and pin each other to the
canvas, musically speaking. This recording was made during a reunion tour for over 20 years of playing together, and
it is their first for Bo' Weavil. They have recorded for a number of labels in the past; Fell's Bruce's Fingers imprint and
Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace, but this is their first in many years. Lets hope it’s the start of many more......


This album will surely blow your socks off, and I can already start by highly recommending it to anyone interested in forceful free jazz and in sax trios. The band is Alan Wilkinson on alto and baritone sax, Simon H. Fell on double bass, and Paul Hession on drums. The three lengthy pieces on this album are freely improvised, yet all three have an uncanny sense of unity and direction : raw, merciless, powerful, loud, but interestingly enough never noisy - although that is of course relative.

The trio has been playing and recording together for the last twenty years, and that can be heard, felt even, as all three move forward as a three-headed monster, but then one with a heart as big as it is raw, because they do not shy away from emotional delivery. Sometimes the storm dies down a little for slower, calmer moments, yet the intensity and the raw sensitivity never diminish, an amazing accomplishment.

The trio demonstrates how musical drive, expressivity and forward motion can be achieved without clear rhythm but with incredible pulse and collective energy.

You could ask whether I have not heard this kind of music before, and you can ask how it differs from Frode Gjerstad trios or Paul Dunmall trios or The Thing or ....and the answer is yes to the first question, this is not new nor innovative, yet it differs from Gjerstad and Dunmall and Gustafsson because the trio developed its own approach over the years, and one they bring to perfection on this album.

It is in any case their best album so far, rawer and with a more attentive audience than on "Bogey's", with more unity and coherence than "Foom! Foom!", less chaotic and with better sound quality than "The Horrors Of Darmstadt", ... and it shows how the trio has managed to perfect its style and approach, making it even more direct, more impactful and cohesive.

The real deal in free jazz!
By Stef, Free Jazz Blog

Alan Wilkinson Practice Bo’Weavil CD/LP Hession/Wilkinson/Fell Two Falls & A Submission Bo’Weavil CD/LP Simon H Fell Frank & Max Bo’Weavil CD/LP Before I glanced the title, the solo Wilkinson’s first track had me thinking ‘line’ – as in ‘Taking a line for a walk’, Paul Klee via Bailey. “Line” is in fact the title of the first track, and it sets up linearity as a proposal for this set of moving, articulate tunes, Wilkinson’s first solo set in many years. He follows each thread to its logical conclusion, reminding you of the Roscoe Mitchell Solo Saxophone Concerts from 1974 – both use breath as metre and a measured consideration of pause as a tool to slow the proposed rush to conclusion. The recording itself is intimate, with Wilkinson often moving between mics, serving as a reminder of the physical act occurring. This set-up supports both the extended technical approach, his own brand of Tuva-via-Dalston multiphonics, and melody on “Lonely Woman” and a mangled and stunning version of “You Don’t Know What Love Is”.

In trio, Wilkinson and cohorts use co-operative tumult and tumble as a thesis; linearity is evident, but Wilkinson defers to collective swirl and push. His horn is up front and sometimes sounds the lead instrument, but this isn’t really the case, and his cryptic vocals are totally visceral and unnerving. Fell endures low volume but on “The Submission” he sparks a woozy arco that snaps him into focus and takes the activities to outer space. The perpetually raw Hession similarly suffers the mix with loss of tonal variation but keeps this train moving way ahead of schedule. The not stellar recording captures a pure communal flame making session.

Ben Hall, The Wire


Download Album (WEAVIL44DD)
  1. Hession/Wilkinson/Fell - First Fall
  2. Hession/Wilkinson/Fell - Submission
  3. Hession/Wilkinson/Fell - Second Fall

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