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Life Without Trousers

Artist: Dudley Phillips

Date of Release: 05/11/2007

Catalogue no: BDV2453

Label: Babel

Price: £12

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

Life Without Trousers

7.58

2

 

Donkeys

5.00

3

 

Waiting For Marco

3.59

4

 

Massaciuccoli

3.14

5

 

Biscuit (for Benjamin)

5.04

6

 

Brother

4.55

7

 

General Custer

2.14

8

 

General Custer's Final Muster

4.24

9

 

Little Fishes

4.15

10

 

Betti's Cactus

5.50

11

 

Long Distance

5.56

 

 

 

 

Life Without Trousers is the debut as leader from one of the UK 's most in-demand bass players – Dudley Phillips. Featuring guitarist Carl Orr and drummer Nic France, the album is inspired by the guitar trios that Dudley has heard and loved over the years, from Jimi Hendrix and the improvisations of The Who, to Pat Metheny's 'Bright Size Life' and trios led by Bill Frisell. Life Without Trousers also features saxophonist Mark Lockheart on three tracks.

The album comprises eleven original compositions written for the group by Dudley , most of which were recorded live in the studio. The trio pieces are carefully arranged for guitar and bass so that at times the sound is of one large string instrument resonating. Unusual lop-sided rhythms and motifs drawn from free music combine with more standard forms to produce an original and interesting take on the trio format.

Alongside Dudley the album features three luminaries of the UK jazz scene, all of whom he has developed close musical relationships with over the course of many years: CARL ORR is a long time sideman of drummer Billy Cobham; he also leads his own band and has released several albums. NIC FRANCE was the original drummer with big band Loose Tubes; he currently plays with Terry Callier and has recently recorded guitarist Dave Gilmour's solo album. MARK LOCKHEART has recorded three albums as a leader, including his most recent 'Moving Air'. He has also recorded with Delightful Precipice, Robert Wyatt, and Radiohead amongst others, and is currently playing with the Mercury Prize Nominated band 'Polar Bear'.

 

Reviews

 

16/12/2005 John Fordham, The Guardian

Dudley Philips, the former Loose Tubes bassist, is partnered here by guitarist Carl Orr, drummer Nic France, and by a guest appearance from another Tubes alumnus, saxophonist Mark Lockheart, who appears on three tracks. Orr displays an attractive mix of purring bop-guitar fluency and rock and country inflections, and France's punchy drumming also seamlessly crosses the genres. Philips' versatility on a variety of plugged and unplugged, plucked and bowed basses is up to sustaining a central role on what is basically an eclectic guitar-trio album with a scattering of sax variation.

There are some attractive tunes, such as the fast, boogieing Waiting for Marco, the warm, luxuriously slow-swinging Brother, and the soprano-sax/acoustic-guitar daydream Long Distance, with its glimpsed folk-song refrain, thoughtful guitar variations, and dark, slowly-tumbling acoustic bass figures. Maybe a little more for guitar and bass aficionados than for the passing trade, but a typical Babel Label endorsement of new spins on old methods.

 

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