Hession/Wilkinson/Fell

Bogey's

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Reissued to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Paul Hession/Alan Wilkinson/Simon H. Fell trio, which first convened in November 1989, this live recording, made at a club called Bogey's in the West Yorkshire town of Huddersfield on June 11, 1991, has always enjoyed something approaching cult status. First released on cassette ("with the sort of haste and enthusiasm which is the sole preserve of people at the beginning of their careers," Fell notes in the liners), it surprised everybody by winning a nomination for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize that year, and launched the career of one of the toughest and most consistently exciting trios in free improvised jazz. Recorded as it was on a Sony Pro Walkman, the sound quality is far from ideal ("the bass is onto a bit of a loser from the start" comments Fell), but Phil Drake's remastering is superb, and manages nevertheless to catch the myriad nuances of Hession's drums -- on the strength of this recording alone he deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Sunny Murray, Milford Graves, or Andrew Cyrille -- and the dogged, sinewy saxophone work of Wilkinson, as well as the ecstatic reaction of the public, whose applause is picked up by the musicians themselves after 19 minutes of "Second Bogey" and reconfigured by Hession into a polyrhythmic motor to power the band forward for a further 16 minutes of fire music par excellence.

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