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Release Date :01/08/2016
'Swans over Dorking' by Bay's Leap
with Clare Simmonds- piano
Review by Adam Baruch:
"I can only recommend this wonderful album to all true music connoisseurs, regardless of their default musical inclinations. This music is able to penetrate the barriers of unfamiliarity and outlandishness by sheer power of its beauty and unadulterated ingenuity."
Review by João Morado
"Swans Over Dorking soa a música de câmara – com laivos de alguma contemporaneidade, é certo – resultado de longas e árduas sessões de ensaio. Ironicamente, não poderíamos estar mais longe da verdade em relação às longas sessões de treino, pois é, unicamente, a riquíssima bagagem interior que cada músico consigo transporta que permitiu a criação desta versão improvisada deste tipo de música."
(full review - pull down to see)
Review by Ken Waxman, jazzword.com
"...the most noteworthy tracks are “Angular Logic” and “Bate’s Motel”, where Taylor, the most committed improviser, harvests the most freedom. On the first, plunger-like snorts from bass clarinet adumbrate hunt-and-peck pianism and roistering cello slips which add up to a swinging narrative. Meanwhile the movement on “Bate’s Motel” is so supple that the fresh Balkan music-orientation of the clarinetist plus cello swipes output at the narrowest range encourages sneaky cartoon villain-like chording from Simmonds..."
Release Date :01/05/2015
Stones of Contention
with Tommaso Vespo - piano
The Sicilian pianist, Tommaso Vespo, assembled the six musicians that play on 'Stones of Contention'. He invited Spanish, English and German colleagues that he knew from the Berlin Improvisers Orchestra to come to Sicily and join up with himself and two local musicians.
'Stones of Contention' is the evocative title that Vespo entitled the result. The meaning is elusive. Does it refer to some ancient ritual, or to an archaic and long-forgotten struggle, or is it the image of 'conflict diamonds'? Perhaps the 'stones' have some sort of mystic power or are they mere tokens of power, to be shuffled like dice? Above all - we would wish to know are they the subject or object of 'contention'? But we will never know the answer to this, because Tommaso Vespo himself does not know. 'Stones make sounds' is his cryptic explanation. What we can say is that this is music that seems to seethe with unresolved undercurrents, as if some clandestine dispute is secretly encoded in sound. There is a sense of restlessness, of disruption, of things being tossed aside, of a discourse full of exclamations, shouts and whispers. There is an irrascible quality that seems to persist throughout, like a nagging thought at the margins of a dream that never entirely resolves. Yet towards the end we hear a great clamour arising, a thunderous chorus of wild voices - on piano, drums, clarinet, saxophone, guitar and drums - all acclaiming, all contending, all shouting to an un-hearing heaven that this is their sound, this is their music, that these are the Stones of Contention.
Release Date : 30/11/2013
Cloudseed by Splatter with Rafal Mazur
Review by Maciej Nowotny - RadioJAZZ.FM
"The music reminds me of a controlled explosion, yet this is an explosion that does not destroy anything at all but, on the contrary, creates one of the most astonishing musical worlds I've heard recently! Marvelously paradoxical: it manages to be coherent, spontaneous and well thought-out yet at the same time, it is completely improvised. This is the artistic statement of a group of excellent musicians and mature artists and I recommend it to anyone in love with the free side of jazz, music and...life!"
Review by Ken Waxman, jazzword.com
"More impressively there are points at which the intertwining of contrasting reed tones as on “Yah Boo Sucks” or from the stretching of equivalent lines from Taylor and Kaluza on “To Boldly Go” re-orient the themes. Improvisational – or is it compositional – sophistication then produces excitement resulting from the push-pull between the horns’ and the others’ definition of the tunes."
Review by João Morado
"A estética é moderna e, mais do que um álbum de pura improvisação livre, Cloudseed poderá, porventura, ser definido como um disco de free jazz contemporâneo: free por ser improvisado e sem estruturas pré-definidas; jazz, certamente, e de índole europeia; contemporâneo pela sofisticação da produção e dos ambientes criados, não esquecendo, pois claro, a transversal mescla com a – latamente definida – dita música contemporânea."
Review by Paulo Chagas at the Jazz Portugal website.
"Ao contrário do que alguns profetas da desgraça proclamam a respeito de uma alegada crise de criatividade a nível musical, conseguimos encontrar aqui provas de uma inesgotável fonte de inovação, aliadas a um excelente gosto e a uma óptima qualidade de produção. Mais do que imitar, estes músicos trataram de reciclar e reinventar processos antigos, construindo assim uma inevitável evolução das formas que nos apresentam. E esta sempre foi a maior virtude dos grandes artistas de todos os tempos."
Review by Adam Baruch
"The individual performances are all excellent, as expected. Personally the clarinet, which is on the short list of my favorite instruments, is the most impressive here with a superb tone and melodic consistency. But again, all the other players contribute equally well. The addition of the bass solidifies the sound of the ensemble and its pulsations are another dimension which goes perfectly well with the rest. Of course the work of the ensemble as a coherent unit, and in this case almost telepathically coherent, is the most important factor contributing to their success to make brilliant music."
Released in March 2011
Scraffiti by Splatter
reviewed by Luca Pagani at allaboutjazz:
"There is music that creates an environment by using sound more as an element of space than of time. It results in something unique, where the end of a piece does not bring about an end to the listening experience, but expands beyond the confines of time."
Review by Jazz Alchemist (Bartek Adamczak):
"This music soothes your soul, it allows you to travel slowly between the stars. In fact it's quite uncanny how subtle and melodic those improvisations are, how accessible this music remains, while mantaining this elusive, emotionally gripping quality of the improvisation. Or maybe the term of a real-time composition would fit better? Never mind the terms, poetry doesn't need words."
Released in November 2010
'All Fall Down' by Noel Taylor & Alberto Popolla -
Review by Joe Higham:
"This 14 track CD is possibly one of the most delightful wind duos I've heard for a long time, and it's easy listening! By using the words easy listening I'm certainly not trying to evoke the image of James Last or Bert Kaempfert, here we have music that whilst pushing at barriers is quite unpretentious, even the length of the tunes is very modest, with the majority of the pieces having an average of 2 to 3 minutes. Yet that makes the music even more enjoyable, and of course you hear that the musicians enjoyed playing together."
Released in July 2010
'Border Patrol', by Niko Meinhold & Noel Taylor
Review by Stef Gijssels:
"..the two musicians master and integrate the legacy of their training : from classical music, jazz, blues to more modern aspects of new music and avant-garde, nicely navigating between romantic lyricism and abstract tension and discovery, this is music with character and vision."
'Music for Misanthropes', by Splatter (January 2010) -
Review by Stef Gijssels
"The music is sweet, gentle and accessible, free and quite mature, in contrast to the adolescent scribblings on the back cover. And entirely improvised. And I must say, well improvised. The lyricism and interplay on some pieces make it sound as if it's thoroughly rehearsed or at least pre-conceived, but apparently not."
'I-C-E Bound', by I-C-E - the Improvising Clarinet Ensemble
'200 Used Cars', by Uncle Rabbit (October 2007) -