Alan Wilkison & Dirk Serries - One In The Eye [New Wave Of Jazz - 2021]
From May this year, One In The Eye is a double CD/ digital download bringing together Alan Wilkinson and Dirk Serries for selection jagged, moody, to-playful improv. The set features one disc taking in eight tracks, and a second disc features two longer work-out.
The release appears on Belgium based New Wave Of Jazz- which is run/ curated by Dirk Serries with a focus on releasing the more challenging side of improv, Avant jazz, and modern composition. The two CD’s are presented in the labels house style mini gatefold- which features on its outside grey squares with white texts on, and inside a two-page write-up about the release by Guy Peters. The release came in an edition of 300 copies, and as of my review the label still have it for sale- and you can purchase it directly here.
For the release, Wilkinson is handling bass clarinet, baritone and alto sax, and voice. And Serries on acoustic guitar. The first disc is recorded in the studio, with the second disc being a live recording from 2020’s New Wave Of Jazz Festival.
The first disc opens with the nearing six minutes of “Upshot”- here we find Serries jagging ‘n’ jerking strums weaved with Wilkinson energetic and at points quite seared sax work- this works as a nicely urgent and shifting opener for the release, throwing you straight into the releases bounding improv heart. By “Hobson's Choice” we find three and a half minutes of slowly hissing and fluting horn work and slicing ‘n’ sliding neck work- it starts out quite moody and up close, before nicely shifting into darting manic-ness with the pair wonderful bouncing off each other.
By track number eight we have the nearing nine minutes of “Hand Over Fist” it opens with a blend of expressive and playful horn playing, which is undercut by Serries jerking, picking, and manically sturming guitar work. As we get deeper into the track Wilkinson playing gets more rapid, sheared, and noisy- though he often nods back to the tracks more playful, almost smoky beginnings. With the disc been topped off with the just shy of nine-minute “Pull The Other One”- which’s blends bassy droning, pained to manic vocalising- with spaced ‘n’ darting strums, and warbling to darkly sensual horn work- making for a surprising, and disarming end to the first disc
Moving over to the second disc- and first, we have "HYG 1", which comes in at the nineteen and a half minute mark. It opens with a blend of playful piping horn work, which is joined by slapping, darting, and scurrying guitar tones. As we move along we come to blends of scrapping to rapidly fiddling neck action and wayward honks, the occasional manic vocalizing moment, and more chattering-to-baying horn work that’s undercutter by jumping ‘n’ jarring guitar tones. Finally, we have "HYG2"- this runs at a slightly shorter around the thirteen-minute mark. It opens with a selection of warbling 'n' baying horn tones, which have subtle addition of mid-to-high pitch string drags. As it moves on the balance between guitar and horn even out, with the pair creating something that feels like a mix between sassy jazziness, jumping ‘n’ jarring funk, with a slight jagged blues undercurrent- with more manic vocal ticks and darts coming into play later in the track's runtime
One In The Eye is a most eventful, at points unpredictable trip into the improv form. If you see the New Wave of Jazz tag, you know you’re always going to get rewarding and daring work, and this double-disc release is most certainly both of those…here’s hoping there is a new batch of releases from the label soon!