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Review: New Music Show (BBC Radio 3)

A two-hour pan-genre mix presented mellifluously by the improviser Elaine Mitchener bookended by Neil Charles and Micaela Tobin tracks, highlights included the brief interview with the polymath distinguished Columbia professor and composer George …

Published: 20 Dec 2020. Updated: 4 months.

A two-hour pan-genre mix presented mellifluously by the improviser Elaine Mitchener bookended by Neil Charles and Micaela Tobin tracks, highlights included the brief interview with the polymath distinguished Columbia professor and composer George Lewis, an influence for instance on the contemporary Glasgow GIO school of free improvisers.

The programme pivots to and from allied areas of the avant garde and certainly is of interest to anyone who likes free improv out of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) and adjacent disciplines to have spanned out around the world since the mid-1960s.

It has been a great year for the aforementioned Charles, touring with Anthony Braxton and continuing to build on his already formidable reputation inside the Room to Dream trio. His opening this stimulating show was apt in the circumstances. As for, an erstwhile Braxtonian himself, Lewis, the interview begins from around the 53 min 22 second mark and references 1980s recording Rainbow Family and IRCAM. Listen

Tags: Album / EP reviews

Nicolas Meier, Dewa Budjana Group, Flying Spirits

We are all from somewhere. Sound however is a universality. Take the jazz-rock Indonesian-Middle Eastern fusion approach of Flying Spirits, the real ''sound location'' belongs to our hearts and minds it all having derived from there too certainly …

Published: 20 Dec 2020. Updated: 4 months.

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We are all from somewhere. Sound however is a universality. Take the jazz-rock Indonesian-Middle Eastern fusion approach of Flying Spirits, the real ''sound location'' belongs to our hearts and minds it all having derived from there too certainly in our own sense of subjectivity and where we give such extraordinary vibrations our own often wordless sense of understanding. On guitar/glissentar Nicolas Meier has a sound whose ecosystem shares some of the life force of that belonging historically to the world of John McLaughlin. However, Meier has long since successfully charted his own course and knows where to host a meeting of minds as he does inspiringly here. He teams up with stunning synth and sitar guitarist Dewa Budjana who adds a sweep of texture all of his own. Via a touch of Konnakol and involving a total improvisational journey key to the bedrock of the sound is provided by Meier's established collaborator bass guitar icon Jimmy Haslip. Asaf Sirkis is on drums and drives the band hard and yet knows when to bathe the rhythms in those most elemental of musical rites, space and light. Flautist Saat Syah is lively and sometimes emotionally moving in the mix and yet Flying Spirits is primarily a no-safety-net-provided guitarist's spectacle. Pick of the tracks when the dust settles is the pastoral and practically Oregon-esque 'Joged Kahyangen' and yet the whole caboodle is completely recommendable. SG

On Blue Canoe. Dewa Budjana, top left, and Nicolas Meier. Photo: Sigi Baramsky