Anstey/Gibbs/Helson/Langford – “Fringe Activity” (FreeTone Records, 2018)

“Fringe Activity” is the newest release of “FreeTone Records”. Album was recorded by Mark Langford (bass clarinet, tenor saxophone), Paul Anstey (double bass), Phil Gibbs (guitar) and Bob Helson (drums, percussion). The musicians like to make brave, innovative and original musical decisions. Their collective improvisations are like real bursts of energy, shocking contrasts, sudden stylistic changes, eclectic combinations and spontaneous waves. The music has inspiring, bright and engaging sound – it’s created by using huge variety of different playing techniques, expressions, timbres and sounds. Each improviser is great, creative and interesting – all of them have unique sound, evocative and bright playing manner, rich musical language and the talent to reveal wide range of different playing techniques, moods, senses and expressions. They do all that by using a masterful and organic fusion of sounds, unusual noises, strange timbres and other elements of musical language. All the pieces are connected together in the most effective, bright, evocative and organic way.

“Fringe Activity” is filled with bright musical decisions, passionate and expressive playing manner and innovative musical decisions. The compositions are based on avant-garde jazz and free improvisation. Various styles of experimental jazz certainly contain the main base of the compositions – it’s also effect whole musical pattern, mood and gives a main tune for the improvisations. Jazz masters are fusing together huge variety of innovative ways of playing, contemporary and experimental jazz styles and expressions. Various traditions of avant-garde jazz rest the main basic of the album – it hears the most brightly in the collective improvisations. That’s the most interesting place of the album. Individual melodies, unusual and colorful timbres, thrilling, roaring, intensive and vibrant solos, intensive and furiously loud blow outs, gentle, light and joyful pieces or silent, slow and relaxing excerpts – all these elements form whole musical pattern and make a huge effort to rich, extravagant and evocative musical language. Free and spontaneous improvisations, traditions of avant-garde jazz and the newest tendencies of experimental improvising are gently connected together with other jazz styles. Musicians make dozens of fascinating musical experiments and fuse together thrilling and sharp solos, expressive, difficult and complicated rhythmic of bebop, hard bop, post bop and other modern jazz styles. Free structure, open form, all kinds of scales and chords and bright, dynamic and rapid rhythms of modern jazz styles are heard very frequently in this album. That’s just a little part of the styles, which are used by musicians – compositions also have another one side of the album. Relaxing, peaceful, silent and abstract solos pleasantly meet with rigorous solos and turbulent, free and spontaneous improvisations. That gives us an opportunity to hear whole wide palette of musicians abilities of improvising. Even though, each piece is contrasting to another, it’s gently suit in musical pattern and bring a new tune to the melodies. Splendid, sparkling, vivacious and bright solos of reeds, expressive and dynamic rhythmic section, solid, independent and free melodic basement, colorful, gorgeous and modern background, huge variety of unusual timbres and sounds – all these elements are gently integrated together in one place. Collective improvisations are not the only one place, where musicians have an occassion to demonstrate their talent of improvising. This album has many effective, gorgeous and interesting duos, solos or trios. Roaring, passionate and dynamic reeds solos gently fit together with subtle, variable and bright double bass solos, unusual timbres or original, energetic and intensive guitar solos. Inspiring variety of styles, sounds, expressions, timbres and chords makes an effort to remarkable, luminous and tremendous sound of this album.


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