Trevor Watts / Stephen Grew – “Let It Be – Live in Liverpool” (Fundacja Sluchaj, 2019)

“Let It Be – Live in Liverpool” is a new release of “Fundacja Sluchaj” label. Album was recorded by Trevor Watts (alto and soprano saxophones) and Stephen Grew (piano). Both musicians are great improvisers – they have impressive style, organic and expressive sound, thrilling playing manner and wide musical knownledge. Trevor Watts is an expressive and innovqative saxophonist. His improvisations are full of contrasts – hot and sharp chords, thrilling solos, furiously fast passages and driving melodies are the keys of his music. The influenze of modern jazz styles is made from American modern jazz. The improviser is continuing the roots of 1960’s avant-garde jazz and music of its pioneers – free improvisation, spontaneous solos, sudden changes and experiments is the basic of it. Basically, Trevor Watts’s music is balancing betwen innovative experimental jazz, the roots of 1960’s and modern jazz. Stephen Grew has terrific playing technique, masterful virtuosity and driving playing style. His playing style is based on expressive free improvisation, modern instrumentation of contemprary academical music and the tunes of bebop and other modern jazz styles. Avant-garde and experimental jazz always rest the main base of compositions, no matter, that there’s a huge influenze of modern and contemporary jazz styles. Both musicians are the central figures of American avant-garde jazz scene. They are dedicated to create fresh, innovative and evocative sound.

“Let It Be – Live in Liverpool” is full of drive and expression. Both musicians are improvising just marvelous – they are creating an enchanting instrumentation, impressive sound and interesting fusions of different styles or innovative decisions. The music has contrasting and bright musical pattern. It’s solid, independent and has dozens of colors, layers, modern expressions, repetitive rhythmic or melodic series, sharp, nervous and expressive sequences of chords and other elements. Nervous and complicated rhythms, expressive mood, scandalous and ambitious solos, driving melodies are illustrated with huge range of coloristics, strange tunes, marvelous sequences, ornaments and abbreviations. The duo is improvising with passion, pleasure and drive. Their improvisations have active, intense and bright mood for the most of the time. There are two independent melodies, played by piano and saxophone. Though musicians have similar playing manner and styles, their music is contrasting and different. The first priority of the duo is to create innovative, exceptional, bright and enchanting sound. They are using universal kit of instrumentation. Very vell-known playing techniques and manners of classical and contemporary academical music are used along with sound experiments, special effects, rare combos and shocking ways of playing. Glissando, staccatto, vibrato, rubato, arpeggio, growls, urgling and aggressive blow outs are mixed up with sparkling riffs, charming passages, impressive sequences, breaking sessions and other similar ways of playing. Expression and drive is everywhere – musicians have a passion to sensitiive, fabulous and exceptional improvising. Saxophones by Trevor Watts are glimpsy, moody and dynamic. The music is based on hot thrills, turbulent explosions, burning and wild culminations, charming solos, urgling, growling, vibrant and roaring blow outs, shrieky tunes and totally free and expressive improvisations. Expressive, vital and light melodies are contrasting silent, cool and dreamy excerpts. Saxophones keep the melody and the driving mood of the compositions. Piano is the rhythmic and harmonic base, but also illustrates the melodic line. Stephen Grew is demonstrating his own and especially expressive playing style. Moving, thrilling and wild melodies are accompagnied by furious, aggressive and sharp chords, nervous and complicated rhythms and gorgeous special effects, ornaments and abbreviations. The music is changing all the time – from expressive and vital it gets dark, solemn, deep or calm. Both musicians are experimenting in various fields of musical language – that’s heard the most ast timbral and instrumentation’s section. Both improvisers have a sense to each other’s playing. Together they create a marvelous duo – it’s free, wild, expressive and scandalous, but never gets boring, distracter or chaotic. Musicians are always together – they get on rising, dramatic and turbulent culminations and go down to calm and relaxing pauses or subtle research of strange timbres and sounds. It’s a real piece of cake to listen to this album – it’s expressive, full of energy and drive.


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