In a year, when dance the greatest of all the performing arts became taboo, of disaster: nevertheless top and best beyond however mindful of all notions of necessary resilience, in vibes and percussion on Spirits of Absent Dancers there is a benevolent aura surrounding some of the more reverberant sounds of which you get quite a few on this unusual album, just solo vibes and percussion. It is not austere but instead achieves a deft balance in its array of bells, drums and vibes bathing in warmth and producing a certain tenderness and spiritual sound. The album feels as if it is populated by a host of musicians and not just one. Pyne works in jazz, improvised music and contemporary dance, leading his own trio, Busnoys, and collaborating over the years with such luminaries as Stan Sulzmann. His inspiration here is dance and he says that during Lockdown ''I found myself imagining a lone musician in a deserted theatre, like a kind of medicine man, throwing sounds into the space in an attempt to conjure up the ghosts of dancers no longer present, to breathe movement into stillness. I set about creating a sequence of music based around this idea, and ended up with this set of nineteen largely improvised short pieces.'' A neat conceit that works remarkably well.
marlbank albums of the year will be published on Thursday 31 December round midnight