Paul Hession

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You already know what to expect, don't you? These three crazy yobs, Paul Hession, Alan Wilkinson, and Simon H. Fell on drums, saxophones, and basses respectively, a trio responsible for much art terrorism these last ten years, winding up and delivering one burning skronk pitch after another at delighted festival goers and record listeners, as well as unsuspecting innocents who get slaughtered in the process. Add to this one of the premier improvising and composing guitarists whose influences range from Jimi Hendrix and Cecil Taylor to Wes Montgomery, Billy Bauer, and Olivier Messiaen, and what do you get -- especially when it's issued by the Incus label? Not what you might think. To say that this disc is out is an understatement, of course, but it is so in a manner one might not expect. The infamous trio has a healthy respect for Morris' ability as a leader, it seems, and his inquiry into microtonalism -- which is actually one of his pre-eminent concerns for the instrument's full articulation. Hence, on the longish "Bow and Buttons," Morris leads the crew on a stripped-down investigation into the informational notation of timbral space and how it adds depth and dimension to propulsive dynamics. As it winds around a few different figures pulled out by Morris, at random, it seems, the work begins to build in intensity without leaving the realm of the phrase until there is nowhere else to go and tonally striated blowing becomes essential, making for a welcome and white-knuckle release. Elsewhere on "The Delius Myth," Morris and Wilkinson take two or three of the composer's ideas about harmonics and put them to the test in improvisation, scoring them full of holes in the process. Finally, "Piece of Fish" is that all-out powerhouse freakout chaos that had been promised in the lineup's construction, and it does not disappoint. This is a well-paced, highly textured and constructed collaboration that tames the wildmen just enough to show how sharp their teeth really are.

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