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Suite of Dreams

Artist: George Haslam

Date of Release: 27/04/2015

Catalogue no: SLAMCD 330

Label: SLAM

Price: £10

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The OxJaMS Trio
George Haslam: Baritone saxophone, clarinet and tarogato
Richard Leigh Harris: Piano and keyboards
Steve Kershaw: Double bass and electronics
In 2005 we started the ‘Oxford Jazz Masters Series’ – the idea being to invite contemporary jazz musicians to play in Oxford, originally in the Holywell Music Room. The HMR hire charge later spiralled way out of reach of our finances but other suitable venues have been found, notably the Burton Taylor Studio, a part of the Oxford Playhouse complex.
We have been fortunate enough to receive sponsorship through the Jazz Services/PRS Promoters Awards Fund, enabling us to present many top UK artists as well as musicians from Argentina, Estonia, Cuba and Italy. Constant throughout the 10 years has been the OxJaMS Trio – Richard Leigh Harris piano, Steve Kershaw bass and myself reeds. Several OxJaMS concerts were recorded and released on CD, including those with Lol Coxhill, Harry Beckett and Stefano Pastor. For a long time we talked about recording the trio alone, eventually going for it in the newly opened HSO Studio, Oxford in April 2014. This CD is the result – we preserved the music in the order it was played on the day; one decision we did make before recording was to explore all combinations of duos, solos and trio.
I travel extensively with my music, improvising and often recording with musicians I meet for the first time. It is very interesting the difference one feels when working with musicians and groups one has played with over longer periods. Both have their appeal, the development and familiarity of the longer term group and the unknown adventures with new partners but I feel the music here reflects a cohesiveness which I enjoyed very much.
George Haslam

 

Reviews

 

16/07/2015 Bruce Lee Gallanter

The OxJaMS trio features George Haslam on bari sax, clarinet & tarogato, Richard Leigh Harris on piano & other keyboards and Steve Kershaw on double bass & electronics. The Oxford Jazz Masters Series (Oxjams) has been around for 20 years and has featured the same trio as on this disc, often with guests like Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill and Paul Rutherford. This disc features a series of solos, duos and trios. The first piece, "Sostenuto" is a trio of taragato, synth and bass and it is spacious and eerie with strong walking bass in the mid-section. Each piece seems to evoke a different spirit or vibe. Mr. Harris plays synth or sampler, selectively adding colors or shades without taking over. Whether solo, duo or trio, there is a calm, careful and often haunting quality to this music that I dig. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG

 

01/05/2015 Ken Cheetham

The tarogato hailed originally from Eastern Europe and probably even further east and was essentially a shawm, keyless and with a double reed. The modern version invariably has a single reed and is truly more complex, often resembling the soprano saxophone but made of wood, like the clarinet. The instrument’s timbre will often depend on the mouthpiece style and these were often handmade by the musician, but today are more likely to be fashioned like that of a soprano or even a clarinet.

The trio has not changed in the ten years of its life. While George has expressed interest in many musical forms, he began to encompass free improvisation towards the end of the 1960s, but did not lose sight of more conventional forms. Suite of Dreams might be seen as following in this tradition: the suite was conceived as a whole and is presented as recorded, even the sequence as followed on the day. The music is extraordinary and I was never sure where it was next heading or even if it would ever finish. It is completely warm and expansive, imaginative and enchanting and the baritone’s emphatic rendering is both erudite and tireless. It is a spiritual offering that does indeed lead to dreaming.
Reviewed by Ken Cheetham
http://www.jazzviews.net/oxjams-trio---suite-of-dreams.html

 

28/04/2015 Vittorio lo Conte

Dai live tenuti alla Holywell Music Room a Oxford a questa suite, regisrata in studio agli HSD Studios della stessa città
George Haslam ha avuto sempre una passione per la musica improvvisata, una passione che lo portato anche fuori dall`Inghilterra in progetti realizzati in giro per il mondo. Insieme, questa volta, ci sono due musicisti fidati con cui ha registrato in passato: il pianista Richard Leigh Harris, anche alle tastiere elettriche e Steve Kershaw al contrabbasso ed agli effetti elettronici. Haslam è al sax baritono, al clarinetto ed al tarogato, uno strumento in legno della tradizione ungherese, a metà fra un sax soprano ed un clarinetto. La lunga suite è costituita da brani in solitudine dei musicisti, dei duo nelle tre possibili combinazioni e quattro brano in trio. Si segue la via di un´improvvisazione totale, senza schemi precisi, semplicemente secondo l´ispirazione del momento. Gli strumenti vengono suonati senza fare ricorso a suoni forzati e quindi a ricercare quella che è stata la storia della free music.
Su Easy on the Poppadoms il tarogato di Haslam gira per lo spazio, accompagnato da altri suoni, è un girovagare alla ricera di qualcosa, di suoni che arrivano nel brano che segue, Dancing Folk, in cui c´è poco di danzante, ma l´incontro con il contrabbasso dà un solido fondamento al brano ed un logico sviluppo alla suite, che prosegue in un momento per solo piano Tenebrae dedicato alla memoria del pianista inglese Stan Tracey con suoni ed accordi lenti e malinconici.
Su Dreaming in Spires fanno capolino dei suoni eletronici, Déja-vu è un duo di piano e contrabbasso piuttosto interessante. La musica dei tre nonostante sia improvvisata ha uno svolgimento preciso, la suite è fatta di momenti che si incastrano perfettamente l´uno nell´altro. I dieci brani seguono un loro percorso, dal solo ai duo ai momenti in trio e nell´insieme il disco funziona bene, almeno per chi apprezza la radicalità dell´improvvisazione. Vittorio lo Conte http://www.musiczoom.it/?p=22513

Google Translate
By live held at Holywell Music Room in Oxford in this suite, regisrata studio to HSD Studios in the same city George Haslam has always had a passion for improvised music, a passion that also brought out from England in projects around the world. Together, this time, there are two trusted musicians with whom he recorded in the past: the pianist Richard Leigh Harris, also on keyboards and electric bass and Steve Kershaw to electronic effects. Haslam is the baritone sax, the clarinet and the tarogato, a wooden instrument of Hungarian tradition, somewhere between a soprano sax and a clarinet. The long suite is made up of songs in the solitude of the musicians, the duo in three possible combinations and four track trio. It follows the path of total improvisation, without precise patterns, just according to the inspiration of the moment. The instruments are played without the use of sounds and so forced to seek what has been the history of free music.
On Easy on the Poppadoms the tarogato Haslam runs for the space, accompanied by other sounds, is a wandering to ricera of something, of sounds that arrive in the following passage, Folk Dancing, where there is little dancing, but the meeting with the bass gives a solid foundation to the song and a logical development to the suite, which continues at a time for solo piano Tenebrae dedicated to the memory of the British pianist Stan Tracey with sounds and chords and melancholic slow.
On Dreaming Spires peep sounds in electronic goods, Deja-vu is a duo of piano and bass rather interesting. The music of the three although improvised has a middle precise, the suite is made up of moments that fit perfectly UNO another. The ten tracks follow their own path, the only duo to trio and moments throughout the disc works well, at least for those who appreciate the radical nature of improvisation

 

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