The Remote Viewers - Last Man In Europe [ReR Megacorp - 2018]Last Man in Europe is the 16th album from this British avant jazz three-piece. The CD album brings together eleven examples of searing–to-wonderfully angular jazz- that moves from forceful & jarring, onto soured & slurred, through to twitching & nervy.
The Remote Viewers formed in1997, releasing their first album Low Shapes In Dark Heat in 1998. And since then they’ve steady released a fairly impressive body of work- with the album releases like the five-CD box set 2007’s Control Room, and the double CD album 2009’s Sinister Heights. I’d certainly heard The Remote Viewers name in passing, but the Last Man In Europe is my first taste of their work and must say I was most impressed by its blend of tension, angular atmospheric, and often searingly sinister mood.
For this album, the line-up consists of Bandleader & Tenor Sax Player David Petts, John Edwards on Acoustic bass, and Adrian Northover on Soprano Sax. Each of the eleven tracks run between just under a minute, and over the seven & a half minute mark- with a sweet spot total album run time of forty-six minutes. We move from the Jantingly-angular horn work & throbbing bass slap ‘n’ buzz of the opening track “The Noise Of History”. Onto the nervy uncoiling sax honk & twanging bass uneasy of “The Night Before The Journey”. Through to the violent bass slap 'n' prod meets seesawing-to-boiling sax play of the seven & a half minute title track. Onto the carefully picked uneasy of the outro track “The Tranquil Life”- which is all loose galloping bass picks 'n' creaks, blended with sudden darting squiggles of horn wail & moody bay.
One of the true joys, pleasures & privileges of reviewing for M[m] is when one gets something unexpected & surprising sent through, which simple bowls you over, and that’s exactly what the Last Man in Europe did for me. If you’re a fan of angular, taut, yet bleakly moody avant jazz- you really need to check this album out. Roger Batty