AC/DC sees jazz trio Decoy - formed of bassist John Edwards, drummer Steve Noble and organ player Alexander Hawkins - get back together with trumpeter/saxophonist Joe McPhee on the final night of the latter’s four-night residency at Dalston’s Cafe OTO. The two sets are offered up here on CD.
CD £11.99 ROKU023
CD on Otoroku.
I’ve always had this feeling with improvising that you’re at war with time. Regardless of context, whether you’re a DJ, or a comedian, or free jazz trumpet and saxophone player Joe McPhee. Whatever you, time moves onward, and the audience awaits.
This is one of the reasons free jazz recordings are so thrilling. ‘AC/DC’ is a recording of a live performance McPhee did with Decoy; a bass, drums and organ trio. And they are very much at war with time. Over the course of nearly 80 minutes they battle together to keep the music running with as little conventional structure as possible. And I think they might have won.
‘A/C’ opens with a gong and droning double bass, preparing the air for what's about to take place. And if you haven’t already braced yourself, McPhee comes charing in with his saxophone, unpredictable but in control. Decoy do their best to keep up, drums and bass in particular sound like their sweating to stay in sync with their advance guard.
Five minutes into ‘D/C’ McPhee starts singing with his sonorous baritone, lulling us into a false sense of security before inevitably going at us with the sax again. A few minutes later he goes back to singing, except now he’s ecstaticly yelling, ecstaticly screaming; an impassioned battle cry. Later the organist gets a chance to shred, while McPhee, now on trumpet, wails with approval.
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