Jon Corbett - trumpet, pocket trumpet, valve trombone, bamboo flute
Nick Stephens - acoustic bass
Louis Moholo-Moholo - drums
Leo Records 2011
I recently reviewed Calling Signals' release, where one can hear Jon Corbett's and Nick Stephens' playing and here they are again with addition of Louis Moholo-Moholo to please our ears.
All three of them mainstays of british free music scene for a while so there's nothing to be proven or revealed here - and they can just go for it as they feel.
And they definitely do so, the playing is intense and vivid. The music is raw and energetic and there are no artificial confines to be respected, just a joyfull ride, an act of communication and creation with the three sharing the reponsibilities and the rewards of creating and stustaining the musical narration.
While the music is as focused as one could expect - a necessary quality in improvised music, there's also this loose feeling, the freewheling spontaneity to it and joyfull excitement. Within the sharp and short trumpet lines by Jon Corbett, muscular bass playing by Nick Stephens (I love his bow work) and polyrythmic dances courtesy of Louis Moholo there's an entire variety of impressive personal statements yet it is feeling of unity in this trio that makes this music work.
With enough ideas to run through four extended improvisations (totalling nearly 70 minutes worth of music) this band plays with conviction and immagination and the energy that gives this music a welcomed drive and pulse, nonetheless the lack of fixed rhythm or melody. And while it's free and abstract in nature it's never too far from jazz, be it thanks to the Corbett's vibrant trumpet's sound or Moholo's drumming that, while not directly, hints at his african roots with all the percussive magic one can call upon.
Hard not to enjoy !
* a piece from the album is available in the playlist from 28.11.2011
A slightly different trio with Tony Marsh behind the drums-set yet it does present well what's there to love about this album: