Free improvising bassist and composer Simon H. Fell has died

Free improvising bassist Simon H. Fell has died. He was 61. The bassist, who in the 1980s also set up his own label Bruce's Fingers, was a prolific collaborator and he performed for instance with Simon Rose and Mark Sanders in Badlands, with Carlos …

Published: 29 Jun 2020. Updated: 42 days.

Free improvising bassist Simon H. Fell has died. He was 61. The bassist, who in the 1980s also set up his own label Bruce's Fingers, was a prolific collaborator and he performed for instance with Simon Rose and Mark Sanders in Badlands, with Carlos Zingaro, Marcio Mattos and Mark Sanders in ZFP and in SFQ, his own quartet with Alex Ward on reeds and in a string trio with Rhodri Davies and Mark Wastell. He was also a member of the London Improvisers Orchestra. Recent albums of his were Virtual Company, released earlier this year, and a duo album with long time collaborator Paul Hession titled Reconstructed Fragments.

Tributes from fellow musicians online include from trombonist Sarah Brand who writes on Twitter: ''I was in a few of Simon’s groups and on some of his records. He was a lovely man, this is terrible news''. And this from Mark Wastell, a contributor of Fell's who wriote on Facebook yesterday: ''It is with a very heavy heart that I pass on the news that Simon H Fell passed away at lunchtime today. His wife Jo would like to thank everybody that has shown love and support over the course of the last few weeks.''

Tags: News

Andrew McCormack, Solo

There is a certain monastic quality about a solo piano record. You have to be in the right mood to listen to one. Any pianist sitting down at the stool does so in the shadow of Keith Jarrett, the master of the form. The difficulty everyone faces is …

Published: 28 Jun 2020. Updated: 43 days.

Next post

There is a certain monastic quality about a solo piano record. You have to be in the right mood to listen to one.

Any pianist sitting down at the stool does so in the shadow of Keith Jarrett, the master of the form. The difficulty everyone faces is to carve out their own distinctive sound away from that singular vision.

Andrew McCormack, usually heard in very different circumstances with bassist leader Kyle Eastwood, does just that as he delves deep into melodic invention and oblique development. There is a warmth to this record which is sometimes absent on his previous albums and the pianist manages to not overpower the listener with the sheer and often impressive impact of his classically grounded technique but instead opens our ears to his ideas and improvisational journey. Orginals sit nicely with sentimental choices such as 'For All We Know'.

McCormack doesn't really have anything to prove in a stellar career so far and you get a sense that he is now in his prime and it's an exciting sound that has passion and imagination in plenty.

Out now on Ubuntu.