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Abbs, Brown, Hardy & Jewell - Live at the marquise dance hall [Small Doses - 2008]

Live at the marquise dance hall is a four way collaboration of  improv and free jazz featureing Tom Abbs on Contrabass, Mike Brown on Contrabass, Lathan Hardy on saxophone, and Ryan Jewell on percussion.

The disk offers up 5 fairly long tracks in all totalling 67 minutes of playing time. It starts off quite promising for the first track or so with the four piece nicely switching between improvised, noisy and harmonic structures that not surprisingly are quite bass heavy due to the two contrabass players. Keeping ones interest and changeling through maybe a little wobbly in places with some of the playing. But as we get into the second and third track it becomes clear their rather treading improv and free jazz blandness, all the flare and excitement seems to have left the music, the tracks also seem too long and dragging . It does pick up sonic interest and more reward interchangers in track four and five is firmly back on much more rewarding and quite edgy territory-the tracks also quite short making its points and not overplaying them.

Ultimately a rather disappointing releash which through shows early and later promise has a big inner core of bland, rather lifeless interplays. I think they just need to homing the length of their pieces down and become more disciplined with their improvising and I’m sure they could give birth to something much more consistent and rewarding than this.

Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5

Roger Batty
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