Jim Baker, Steve Hunt, Jakob Heinemann. Horizon Scanners, Clean Feed ***

Taking the kind of approach you might find on an Alexander Hawkins Trio record pushed to the extremities that bit further, Chicago trio pianist/synth player Jim Baker, bassist Jakob Heinemann and erstwhile NRG Ensemble drummer Steve Hunt strip …

Published: 31 Jan 2024. Updated: 27 days.

Taking the kind of approach you might find on an Alexander Hawkins Trio record pushed to the extremities that bit further, Chicago trio pianist/synth player Jim Baker, bassist Jakob Heinemann and erstwhile NRG Ensemble drummer Steve Hunt strip things down to the bone on this avant release. Ken Vandermark in the notes comments sagely: ''This music is combinative, not foreground vs. background. And that is something consistent about Chicago music when it is at its best: multiple voices and perspectives encapsulated equally, whether on the scene as a whole, or within a singular band like this trio”. Recorded in Chicago both live and in the studio, final track 'The Ships' gives most to cling on to. But the second part of the 'Halting (No) Problem' suite also is a fascinating highlight. In all, what challenging music where improvisation is a key word ever so deftly delivered.

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Old Mountain feat. Tony Malaby, Another State Of Rhythm, Clean Feed ***1/2

The gimmick for want of a better word on Another State Of Rhythm is the presence of two bassists (João Hasselberg and Hernâni Faustino) that adds a certain complex circuitry to the loose flowing beat generated by this fresh free-jazz aiming outfit …

Published: 30 Jan 2024. Updated: 28 days.

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The gimmick for want of a better word on Another State Of Rhythm is the presence of two bassists (João Hasselberg and Hernâni Faustino) that adds a certain complex circuitry to the loose flowing beat generated by this fresh free-jazz aiming outfit from Portugal helmed by pianist Pedro Branco and drummer João Sousa. US sax titan Tony Malaby is excellent throughout especially on the tender 'Blend In By Standing Out'. Tunes include a tribute to Paul Motian and begins completely out of the blue on Leadbelly's 'Goodnight Irene'. Branco's intro to 'Montanha' at the end is another bright moment on what is a very satisfying album no matter how off-the-beaten track all concerned venture.