Return of the New Thing - Return of the New Thing

Genre: Free Jazz
Format: CD
Label: Leo Records
Quality: Flac + Cue + Scan
Recording Date: 1999
Size: 284 MB


Dan Warburton — piano, violin;
Jean-Luc Guionnet — alto saxophone;
François Fuchs — bass;
Edward Perraud — percussion;


01. Somehow, Anyhow [12:54]
02. Hic et nunc, in limine [17:20]
03. Y2K [12:39]
04. Truth and Reconciliation (to Archie Shepp) [07:12]

Recorded at Ouistiti, Paris on March 20, 1999.
Leo Records (1999)


This is an enjoyable disk of mostly spontaneously composed jazz by four Paris domiciled players, led by multiinstrumentalist, jazz critic and British expat Dan Warburton. (As an added bonus, the CD is graced with a très chic cover photo of Warburton’s toddler aged son pondering the universe amid a pile of free jazz
LPs.) All but one of the four tunes on Return are freely improvised, but, like a selection of Muhal Abrams pieces from the Seventies and Eighties, they cover quite a wide range of approaches. The talented alto saxophonist JeanLuc Guionnet goes to work early on the opening « Somehow, Anyhow, » strutting impressive Evan Parkerinfluenced barrages. But the piece flies into another gear altogether with only a couple minutes to go (at about the 11minute mark) when (pianist/violinist) Warburton, breaks out his serious, (and seriously fast) neohardbop chops.
The following « Hic et Nunc, in Limine » (by percussionist Edward Perraud) is in the late Coltrane, devotional mode, with Warburton going Alice C. one better by jumping off the threechord arpeggiated background train whenever he feels like it. The balance is a bit heavy on the piano and drums on this one, but since Warburton and Perraud are doing such interesting stuff, it’s not really a problem. The tune gets stuck in a little rut (again at about the 11minute mark) but the gentlemen climb out winningly after a few perilous moments atop some of the most exciting playing on the disk. « Y2K » begins with a briskly sawed note on Francois Fuchs’s bass.
The other players dance exotically around this single repeated pitch for a while, with Warburton taking up a Jenkinsdrenched violin. Unlike its predecessors, this tune changes directions after only about half of eleven minutes, when Warburton switches to modal piano, and the bass and drums move into a funky one chord space jam. Guionnet’s sax solos are terrific on this tune – highenergy urban heat. After a couple of minutes, Warburton leaves Tyner Town for Bergman Bay and the boys buy vacation property there. The downside here is Fuchs extreme reluctance to leave the original tonic even after the other players get more adventurous. (…)There’s more funk (and singlekey dominance) on the closing « Truth and Reconciliation, » which, though dedicated to Archie Shepp, brought to my mind the smiling faces of Erroll Garner and Ray Charles. Warburton’s (again highly funkified) piano is once more the dominant voice, with Guionnet’s wailing alto and Perraud’s grooving drums the featured supporting actors.
This time, Fuchs is forced to fall into the role of follower, since Warburton is calling all of the bass, chord, and rhythm shots, and a single pitch on bass would not have been appropriate. (As a sometimes « bossy » improvising keyboardist myself, I often find that when music that is both tonal and – in some sense – free is the order of the day, the best thing to do is to leave the bassist home: that way there’ll be neither conflict nor subservience.) In any case, I hope to hear more from this exciting, eclectic group.
Walter Horn (Signal To Noise USA)

I am often overwhelmed by the endless flow of interesting characters who contact me here at DMG through the miracle of email. I been trying to catch up with the hundred plus e. messages from musicians, distributors, demanding music fanatics, journalists and other eccentrics worldwide over the past few months. It makes it all worthwhile when I discover some unrecognized pool of talent in some distant port. Dan Warburtan is a British born, NY schooled and now living in Paris musician/writer and recent email buddy.
The « New Thing » of the title refers to freejazz of the sixties and the cd cover has a child sitting among freejazz classic lps by Sam Rivers, Paul Bley, Marion Brown, Han Bennink & Misha Mengelberg. This Parisbased quartet includes piano/violin, alto sax, bass & percussion and each member has diverse backgrounds in avant jazz and modern classical musics. The stimulating music on this cd blends both of those modern strands in a mostly free situation. The magic of close listening and quick response and both inspired, centered freedom holds this together as one stream of events. The four pieces are all long and evolve through a myriad of densities and combinations of players, constantly exploring different
terrain, from stark sections to explosive (Cecil Taylorish) areas.
I am much impressed by the often powerful intensity that Dan’s piano and JeanLuc’s alto sax unleash during some of the more exciting moments here, the rhythm team also does a fine job of following and pushing the spirits to new heights. The aptly titled « Y2K » is where the intensity erupts into hyperdrive, eventually hardcharging the beat to the extreme. Whoa! More buried treasure from the audioexplorers over at the Leo label.

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