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Track of the day: Benoît Delbecq 4, Anamorphoses, Jazzdor Series ****

Lens, method, change. Anamorphosis in optics is according to the Collins Dictionary an image or drawing distorted in such a way that it becomes ''recognizable only when viewed in a specified manner or through a special device''; in another sense …

Published: 14 Jun 2021. Updated: 39 days.

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Lens, method, change. Anamorphosis in optics is according to the Collins Dictionary an image or drawing distorted in such a way that it becomes ''recognizable only when viewed in a specified manner or through a special device''; in another sense ''the process by which such images or drawings are produced''; and in a third ''the evolution of one type of organism from another by a series of gradual changes''. One of two tracks so far through lens, method, and above all in the dealing with change in the intertwining hivemind mindset of four creative improvisers is to be heard ahead of Gentle Ghosts. Recorded live in Paris in the autumn of 2019 pianist Benoît Delbecq whose process also involves the manipulation of live electronics was last heard by this blog fine and mellow on Fred Thomas' enjoyable trad-jazz Wagner tribute Dick Wag. He is here in a very different style and context on his own composition, delving into an aching quite delicious free avant blues soundsphere and canvas. With double bassist John Hébert, here in the Formanekian mantle, the elegant Warne Marsh-ian tenor saxophonist Mark Turner and formidable free-jazz drummer Gerald Cleaver the effect is without fear of hyperbole a serene vision unwinding however much at times imperceptibly.

Benoît Delbecq 4: John Hébert, above left, Mark Turner, Benoît Delbecq, Gerald Cleaver. Photo: John Rogers. Gentle Ghosts (Jazzdor Series) is out on 25 June.

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Avant-garde free improv label Confront issue unheard 1970s recordings by Tony Oxley and Alan Davie for the first time

Elaboration of Particulars is an extraordinary release from the avant-garde free improv label Confront who have just issued these 1970s recordings by Tony Oxley and Alan Davie for the first time. A very absorbing, unearthly listen, it's hugely …

Published: 14 Jun 2021. Updated: 36 days.

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Elaboration of Particulars is an extraordinary release from the avant-garde free improv label Confront who have just issued these 1970s recordings by Tony Oxley and Alan Davie for the first time. A very absorbing, unearthly listen, it's hugely compelling, challenging and above all full of vitality.

A series of eight electro-acoustic ''particulars'' free-jazz icon Oxley heard last year on a 2011 duo recording with Cecil Taylor made in Neuberg seven years before Taylor passed away, is here more than 30 years earlier in 1977-8 in another duo with Scottish painter and musician Davie who died in 2014. Davie's abstracts can be found in the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He uses piano, ring modulator and percussion. The duo made this recording in Hertford where Davie lived. Oxley and Davie had been playing together since the beginning of the 1970s. **** (4-stars)

Link to the Confront site on Bandcamp. Alan Davie, 'Portrait of a Buddhist' (1960), above. Image: Wikimedia