Agile Experiments, These Are Times For Mind And Spirit, DDR ****

Cosplay instrumentalism is always interesting. Quick explanation - far too under-rated drummer Dave De Rose does not wear an admiral's tricorn or peer into the telescope through the wrong end. He is merely here playing bass guitar within a very …

Published: 4 Nov 2022. Updated: 32 days.

Cosplay instrumentalism is always interesting. Quick explanation - far too under-rated drummer Dave De Rose does not wear an admiral's tricorn or peer into the telescope through the wrong end. He is merely here playing bass guitar within a very nifty trio set-up. ''East angular'' tenorist George Crowley and new drum 'un in GoGo Penguin Jon Scott - remember the fabulous Dice Factory? - don't don the motley either. And thankfully the whole sound has a dress-down even piratical likeability factor.

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Scuffling grooves and an appealing electronica shimmer conspire to make the sound not at all naked and its organic credentials would get the nod even from Charles Dickens' Mr Bumble implacable in front of a brass knob fronting a door that you desperately need to swing ajar but know never will. 'Genome' is clubby without trying to be and if anything is going to be remixed for the disco Daves of the dance floor to whirligig to it is this banger. Scott is excellent throughout. Crowley delivers a certain magick without tears to be incendiary on 'Open To It' the triplet feel going toe to toe with the obese bass guitar helpings and bigger beat. It's a Friday and the mood lifts from the vaguely desperate to the mirthlessly joyous which is progress relatively speaking but this is the dog's bollocks any day of the week.

Agile Experiments - Jon Scott, top left, George Crowley, Dave De Rose. Photo: press

- More DeRose in a meeting of minds on Plants Heal (2021) with Dan Nicholls

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Ant Law and Alex Hitchcock, Same Moon in the Same World, Outside In ***1/2

There's a strong case to be made for Ant Law crowned the most exciting jazz guitarist on the UK scene at the moment and he is as impressive a side player or co-leader as he is a leader. He just about stole the show recently in Juncture, actually he …

Published: 4 Nov 2022. Updated: 32 days.

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There's a strong case to be made for Ant Law crowned the most exciting jazz guitarist on the UK scene at the moment and he is as impressive a side player or co-leader as he is a leader. He just about stole the show recently in Juncture, actually he did, and with Emma Rawicz last year live when there was a big choice of other ridiculously accomplished players around him his sound rose to the top time and time again harmonically. Alex Hitchcock is as melodic as they come - if you dig the sound of Iain Ballamy then step his way although Hitchcock has a very different kind of poeticism in his head. For more on that listen to the excellent Dream Band. Hitching their wagon to a modernish approach the pair expose each other to a love-in of melodic possibilities and pathways of logical extension without the jarring sense of too many sweet centres blended in as they swerve from the woodily textural feeling baked into 'Don't Take Too Long' to the highly loquacious sweep of 'Outliers'. Guests (there are too many) include an array of big names including vibist Joel Ross, Shai Maestro, Jeff Ballard and saxist Tim Garland. But forget the distraction of well-deserved reputation. If at the time of recording everyone had been in the same room at the same time this would have been a very different record if it even had been possible to make it which is doubtful so thanks be to the wonders of tech more than quibble about the process and the subjectivity of what distance no matter how shrunk does to recordings although it is a thing. The clear navigation of sax and guitar is what you need to concentrate on most. Who wouldn't be moved by 'Chrysalis' it's true.