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Shepherd Wheel

Artist: Peter Fairclough

Date of Release: 02/01/1995

Catalogue no: ASC CD1

Label: ASC

Price: £9

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

jacob's ladder

4.57

2

 

shepherd wheel

7.23

3

 

the yaller belly

2.57

4

 

saint monda

10.02

5

 

rattening

1.35

6

 

stoneburst

5.36

7

 

racing

2.05

8

 

when there's nothing left to burn

2.56

 

 

 

 

Appearances by

Christine Tobin, Paul Dunmall, Richard Bolton

"but wind and water will return as sure as there's tomorrow when there's nothing left to burn"

"The old 'don't judge a book by its cover' warning is set into sharp focus on Shepherd Wheel.

peter fairclough - drums & percussion
christine tobin - voice
pete saberton - piano
paul dunmall - saxophones
peter whyman - clarinet & saxophones
rick bolton - guitar
tim harries - bass
richard newby - drums & percussion
a john canham recording made on 12th January 1995
cover painting by godfrey sykes

THE FAIRCLOUGH GROUP and SHEPHERD WHEEL

"an exciting debut concert" The Star, Sheffield, May 1990

"a quality lineup. Individual contemporary style. Well worth checking" Time Out, May 1990

"Compelling, Original. A very impressive debut. Shepherd Wheel..... is really striking" The Wire, August 1990

"Mercifully free of the usual hackneyed references..... a gem of understated virtuosity" Rhythm, November 1991

"a dazzling display..... brilliantly performed by an excellent eight piece band" The Star, Sheffield, July 1992

"vital, imaginative music. Superb band" Time Out, February 1995

"a Musical Tapestry" What's On, York, March 1995

"Excellent debut album. A jazz composer of flair and originality." Jazz on CD, May 1995

"an absorbing evocation" Pete Martin, Jazz UK, May 1995

"A fresh and original piece. Some vivacious ensemble work." Sheffield Telegraph, September 1995

"A mightily impressive eight piece group. The playing is strong, superlative at times" The Wire, October 1995

"interesting and stimulating CD from this enterprising group" Musician, December 1995

 

Reviews

 

02/10/1995 Mike Barnes, The Wire

Shepherd Wheel
ASC CD1
The old 'don't judge a book by its cover'
warning is set into sharp focus on
Shepherd Wheel. This is a concept album
about a 16th century, water-powered
grinding wheel; the cover shows a rural
labourer honing a knife on the wheel
itself. Lazy preconceptions that this could
well be a po-faced, finger-in-the-ear
nightmare are blown away on the
introductory "Jacob's Ladder", where
Peter Whyman's lines evoke Stravinsky
circa Three Pieces For Solo Clarinet, and
when Christine Tobin's vocal comes in on
the title track, her smoky, folky tones are
set against a busy, jazz-inflected backing
with Paul Dunmall's Coltranesque sax
lines buffeting the melody.
Drummer Peter Fairclough, sometime
Mike Westbrook sideman, is the linchpin
here. He's harnessed a mightily
impressive eight piece group equally at
home with squalling improvisation, cool
grooves and subtle, hovering backdrops
to Tobin's voice.
There are folk threads running through
the melodies and the storyline but this is
no half-baked stab at musical pluralism.
Crucially, a new genre emerges, and it's
not 'Jolk' - or a mere grab-bag of
styles. The playing is strong, superlative
at times, born from eight formidable
musical personalities.
On "The Yaller Belly" the musicians
swarm around the melody; on the
following "Saint Monda" pianist Pete
Saberton's clunking chords and
Tippetesque runs hound Whyman's
quicksilver alto. Something says this
shouldn't work, but it does - brilliantly.

 

02/01/1995 Jazz on CD

This is a concept album about a 16th century, water-powered grinding wheel; the cover shows a rural labourer honing a knife on the wheel itself. Lazy preconceptions that this could well be a po-faced, finger-in-the-ear nightmare are blown away on the introductory "Jacob's Ladder", where Peter Whyman's lines evoke Stravinsky circa Three Pieces For Solo Clarinet." The Wire, Oct 1995 "Excellent debut album. A jazz composer of flair and originality."

 

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