This pair could very well be the most versatile, unpredictable free improv duo in England. Thanks to Lol Coxhill's extensive background in jazz, Veryan Weston's classical studies, and both musicians' decision to fully embrace their pasts instead of restricting their playing to one specific aesthetic, the music can leap and bounce from non-referential "pure" improv to swinging interludes or bombastic passages. Only Steve Beresford matches this level of pan-stylistic scope -- and excitement. By 2002, Coxhill and Weston had been playing together for over 25 years, and yet the only previous album completely devoted to this duo is the 1998 Emanem CD Boundless. Worms Organising Archdukes is not a redundant document, to say the least. The album features pieces from three different concerts. Listeners begin at the Worm in Rotterdam for two pieces of 28 and 14 minutes. "The Second Duet of Worms" opens with a delightfully soulful solo from Coxhill. If his soprano sax playing has grown immediately recognizable, the man is not sitting on his laurels. He pushes and stretches his playing, exploring microtonal possibilities in the high register during "The First Archduke Duo," one of two pieces recorded at L'Archiduc in Brussels. The second one stands as 11 minutes of pure delight and one of the strongest improvisations by any artist during 2002. Between these two concerts recorded in March 2001, a cut from a Red Rose (London) set in August 2000 has been squeezed in. It features Weston, who plays piano in the four longer tracks, on the same chamber organ he used during the sessions for Ian Smith's album Daybreak. This "Organ Interlude" brings a pause and an element of strangeness -- a welcome addition to a CD clocking in at 79 minutes. Highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture