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LIVE AT CAMPUS WEST

Artist: Chris Biscoe

Date of Release: 04/03/2013

Catalogue no: TR591

Label: Trio Records

Price: £12

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

Les

8.41

2

 

Epistrophy

10.42

3

 

Fables of Faubus

8.51

4

 

Open Book

4.26

5

 

The Man Who Never Sleeps

6.38

6

 

Something Sweet, Something Tender

0.48

7

 

Out To Lunch

15.59

8

 

Potsa Lotsa

10.36

 

 

 

 

Appearances by

Larry Bartley, Stu Butterfield, Tony Kofi

Following the 2008 studio recording by the Quartet, Gone in the Air, this live recording presents extended explorations of three tunes featured on the first CD, plus new material.

Hear
Sound Samples on
Chris Biscoe's Website



Chris Biscoe Profiles Quartet
Chris Biscoe: alto sax, alto clarinet
Tony Kofi: alto sax, tenor sax
Larry Bartley: double bass
Stu Butterfield: drums


Recorded live at Campus West, Welwyn Garden City by Veryan Weston on January 30th 2011.

The quartet with Tony Kofi, Larry Bartley and Stu Butterfield set out to explore innovations brought to jazz by Eric Dolphy, a remarkable virtuoso who combined many of the virtues of bebop and earlier jazz forms with an open-mindedness matched by few other musicians. His interest in using natural sounds and the inspiration he drew from music of different cultures has become increasingly accepted by succeeding generations of musicians.

Our repertoire draws on Eric Dolphy's own compositions, which give a clear insight into his rhythmic and harmonic approach, a selection of pieces drawn from his recordings with other bandleaders (Oliver Nelson, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane), and tunes such as Jitterbug Waltz reflecting Dolphy's Catholic tastes.

The Quartet is also the core of the Mingus Profiles Sextet. As the band has developed we have incorporated material from the Sextet's Mingus repertoire and now perform as the Profiles Quartet.

On this CD recorded at a club gig for Hertford Jazz in 2011 you can hear some tunes (Les, Out to Lunch, Potsa Lotsa) which are also on our studio CD Gone in the Air. These versions are longer and more varied in texture, reflecting our experience of working together and the freedom of performance which comes with live performance.

I play the theme of Something Sweet, Something Tender on unaccompanied alto sax as an introduction to Out to Lunch and Potsa Lotsa. These three pieces are played without a break, although they have different track numbers. Out to Lunch finishes with a bass solo by Larry Bartley based on melodic motifs from that tune, which he then transforms into the opening riff of Potsa Lotsa, at which point I join him on alto clarinet.

Fables of Faubus is a great Charles Mingus piece that Eric Dolphy played on many live performances with Mingus and on the remarkable studio record Mingus Presents Mingus.

Eric Dolphy was an admirer of Thelonious Monk, dedicating Hat and Beard (from Out to Lunch and also heard on our first CD) to him. He played Epistrophy when working as a soloist with various bands and it appears on the radio broadcast at the end of his life which was released as Last Date.

Open Book and The Man Who Never Sleeps are played as one piece, but have separate track numbers on this record. Open Book starts with a transcription of the first part of Booker Ervin’s solo on Open Letter to Duke, from Mingus Ah Um. Stu Butterfield's drum solo leads into The Man Who Never Sleeps, a Mingus self-portrait which features Tony Kofi on tenor saxophone.

 

Reviews

 

22/03/2013 CHRIS PARKER, LONDON JAZZ NEWS

Some of the most exciting contemporary live jazz – Alex Bonney’s Albert Ayler-inspired gigs, Dog Soup’s viscerally exciting take on electric-period Miles Davis, Liam Noble's Brubeck interpretations spring immediately to mind – involves musicians revisiting the music of figures who have inspired them, and this Chris Biscoe Profiles Quartet performance, which centres on music composed by or associated with Eric Dolphy, is right up there with the best.

There is something uniquely exhilarating in Dolphy’s overall sound and approach, his music seeming to stream out of his bands in a joyful, intoxicating rush, and Biscoe’s quartet – completed by alto player Tony Kofi, bassist Larry Bartley and drummer Stu Butterfield – perfectly emulates the great master in this respect, the front-line horns meshing in a wild, exuberant wail that immediately brings the great man’s music to mind.

Biscoe must be one of the most underrated figures in UK jazz, his unassuming, learned demeanour belying a soloist of passionate (and unfailingly inventive) intensity, whether he’s playing alto or alto clarinet; Kofi, as he proved so memorably in his Monk-inspired album, All is Know (and there is an impressive performance of Monk’s ‘Epistrophy’ here), is a past master at applying his pleasingly astringent tone and urgent improvisational fecundity to classic bop and post-bop jazz, so their combined force is considerable, and in Bartley (one of the steadiest yet most subtly propulsive bassists currently operating in this country) and Butterfield (all buoyancy and spring) they have the perfect rhythmic foils.

There is some duplication of material (‘Les’, ‘Out to Lunch’, ‘Potsa Lotsa’) from the quartet’s 2008 studio album, Gone in the Air (Trio TR578), but the eight-minute visit to the Mingus classic ‘Fables of Faubus’ is worth the price of admission alone, and this hour-long Herts Jazz concert, recorded in 2011 at Welwyn Garden City, documents a first-rate performance from a polished but wonderfully vibrant band.

 

12/03/2013 Ivan Hewett, Daily Telegraph,

Saxophonist Chris Biscoe has already made a fine homage album to Charles Mingus, and here he turns his formidable technique and musical intelligence onto great free jazz innovator Eric Dolphy. It’s an austere listen with no harmony instrument in the quartet, and the richness of Mingus’s The Man Who Never Sleeps suffered somewhat. But it’s an invigorating listen, as Biscoe and fellow reedsman Tony Kofi relish the challenge of capturing Dolphy’s complexities in just two melodic lines.

Ivan Hewett, Daily Telegraph ****

 

12/03/2013 Kenny Matthieson, The Scotsman

Chris Biscoe Profiles Quartet: Live at Campus West

Trio Records

*****

The English saxophonist Chris Biscoe follows up earlier album projects on two of his abiding obsessions, the music of Eric Dolphy and Charles Mingus, with this live set combining material by or associated with both musicians. The Profiles Quartet features Biscoe on alto saxophone and alto clarinet alongside Tony Kofi on alto and tenor saxophones (both show clear Dolphy influences in their approach to alto), with Larry Bartley well featured on bass, and Stu Butterfield on drums.

They form a cohesive, highly energised unit, but allow themselves ample freedom to explore the material, which includes compositions by Thelonious Monk and Oliver Nelson associated with Dolphy. Lengthy investigations of Monk’s Epistrophy and Dolphy’s Out To Lunch and Potsa Lotsa are among the highlights of the set, recorded at the Welwyn Garden City venue Campus West in 2011.

 

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