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Marc Hannaford - The Garden Of Forking Paths [Extreme - 2007]

The Garden of Forking Paths is this Austrian jazz pianist first album offering up 8 slices of edgy and complex jazz improvising with help from fellow jazz improvisers like the excellent trumpeter Scott Tinker, ken Edie on drums and Philip Rex on double bass .

The tracks jerk, judder and crash along in their complex and jagged wonder, moments of melancholy beauty slip out ever so often as the four piece  lurch, drive and twist into new combinations. The cover features a picture of a five or six year old child (Hannaford I presume)smiling ready for their first day at school, and this album nicely captures that feeling of been lost in something new, strange and scary like first day at school or in a new job. But over time the challenging music makes its own sense, there is structure here with consent rhythmic/ percussive  patterns appearing be it through Hannaford's piano playing or Edies drums. It’s nice to hear Scott Tinker in fine form after his excellent album backwards album, as are Ken Edie and Philip Rex complementing and reacting with Hannaford's elegant and angular playing.

Another rewarding chapter in Extreme’s label jazz series- mixing together edgy, often jagged and melancholy music with moments of musical wonder & off kilter beauty.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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