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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Yves Charuest / Benedict Taylor - Knotted Threads [Inexhaustible Editions - 2021]

Knotted Threads is a five-track CD/ digital download that perfectly fits its title. As what’s on offer here is a selection of tight, taut, and tense improv for alto sax and viola- all making for a wholly intense and consistent album.

The release appeared in the early summer of this year- with the off-white & dull six-panel CD featuring on its cover a ragged drawing of knotted fabric. With inside a picture of the two players, and a two-piece write-up about the players, and the collection of tracks to hand. So, a nicely simple, yet informative and effective bit of packaging. 

The players here are Montreal-based Yves Charues- Alto Sax – he’s been active since the 1980s, though seemingly not releasing anything thing until the late ’90s/ early 2000’s- with solo work, and in/ connected with groups such as Montreal-Toronto Art Orchestra, Ratchet Orchestra, and Wreck's Progress. And London based Benedict Taylor-Viola- he's been an active/ highly respected improviser, with more than a few releases on Dirk Serries excellent-yet- sonically awkward ‘n’ angular improv/ modern composition label A New Wave Of Jazz. 
 
We kick off the album in a fine twitchy' n' tense manner with the nearing sixteen and a half minutes of "Ossel Hitch". The track is built around an ultra-tight and busily seared blend of rapid neck scrubs, buzzing string tone, constricted-to-compressed horn breathings, tense piping’s, and all manner of taps, hisses, and fiddles. As we move through the release we come to just around eleven minutes of "Poldo Tackle"- here we find scaping out-a-shape string tones 'n' tense twang- meeting tight picking, sudden forking, warbling hissings, and honk ‘n’ tap texturing. 
 
 
In the latter half of the album, we have the creak, warble, manic flute, and baying of "Chain Sinnet" which slides in at the nine and a half minute mark. And lastly the shortest track here is the six and a half minutes of "Bimini Twist"- which it’s a rapid 'n' fraught mix of angular honk ‘n’ bay, loud string creek ‘n’ saws, and manically fiddling.
 
 
Knotted Threads is a rewardingly ear slicing and body tensing example of active and angular improv- with both Charues and Taylor playing together with such urgency and taut invention. I do hope these pair partner up again because they do make a wonderful pairing. To buy this direct- please head over to here

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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