I've compared Alexander Hawkins to Vijay Iyer in the past and really I can't think of anyone else who could sensibly be mentioned in the same breath. Yes, both are pianists, but come from very different backgrounds. More to the point both reimagine free-jazz, a style that has remained quite stagnant for many years since the first innovations of giants like Cecil Taylor and Paul Bley established century changing sounds for the first time. Hawkins like Iyer has also managed to create his own distinctive language and continues to display a restless ingenuity to communicate it year in year out. Last we heard from him was as recently as December in a fine live trio recording Room to Dream Trio with Neil Charles and Steve Davis who like Hawkins toured with Anthony Braxton this time last year. Turning 40 later in 2021 Hawkins through Intakt records now releases Togetherness Music on 15 January to mark the milestone ahead. He has certainly packed a whole lot of music into the last decade since first emerging on the international scene and this new six-movement work seems like a new peak of achievement catapulting him to still new interstellar regions. Described as''quasi-orchestral'' the work involves 16 musicians, Charles to Hawkins' side once again and the personnel also features room for adventurous contemporary-classical group the Riot Ensemble and most ear catchingly of all the sound of saxophone icon Evan Parker at its beating heart. Togetherness Music perhaps shares a certain affinity with the larger ensemble tracks of Unit[e] from 2017. The new work certainly ranks as one of Hawkins' most ambitious works to date and underlines just what a significant figure among improvisers globally the English player already is.