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CD: Coup d'Etat (Compassionate Dictatorship)

 

 

Compassionate Dictatorship

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Coup d'Etat (Compassionate Dictatorship)

Artist: Compassionate Dictatorship

Date of Release: 18/10/0007

Catalogue no: 1309

Label: FMR

Price: £12.50

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

listen

The Hang

2

listen

Bladey

3

 

Brain Pickle

4

listen

Seizmic

5

listen

Virtual Joyride

6

 

It's no good knowing (if you don't know you know)

7

 

Crustacean

 

 

 

 

Appearances by

Jez Franks

'Compassionate Dictatorship' was born out of a collaboration between Jez Franks and Tori Freestone, who have been playing and writing together since 1993. The quartet plays original material drawn from a wide range of influences, from folk to free and contemporary jazz, creating fresh sounds and textures within interesting harmonic frameworks and varied meters, blending four distinct voices into one. The band's debut album 'Coup D'Etat' has been described as 'an eclectic amalgam of improvisation, strong melodic themes and rhythmic twists'. The electric and baritone guitars of Jez Franks share a wonderful dialogue with Tori Freestone’s saxophone, and the dazzling backing of Ben Reynolds and Jasper Hoiby on drums and bass respectively create a winning formula for this unique and spellbinding guitar quartet.

 

Reviews

 

01/12/2007 Tom Barlow, Jazzwise magazine

A gusty but thoughtful quartet album, Coup D’Etat is a notable addition to the ever-growing quality shown by forward thinking Brit Jazz groups. Already a member of Tom Arthurs’ Centripede and Asaf Sirkis’ Inner Noise, Jez Franks is an accomplished guitarist, capable of dazzling runs and meaty chord play that at times remind me of Kurt Rosenwinkel. Better still is how he channels this ability. Compassionate Dictatorship is primarily a collaboration with excellent saxophonist Tori Freestone and makes for a very impressive listen, both through the improvisation and loose, at times free-ish, group dynamics. ‘The Hang’ sounds just as it should do - a raw, highly open encounter between Franks’ moody electric guitar and Freestone’s robust tenor work (at times recalling the rawness of Archie Shepp at others the finesse of post-bop modernists). There is also great work around the edges from drummer Ben Reynolds and fine support from Danish bassist Jasper Hoiby. Later on, the group stretch and improvises loosely over delightfully open grooves such as ‘Brain Pickle’ while the moody ‘Seizmic’ shows Franks has brains to go with his brawn. Musically both tough and tender, Franks and Freestone are a great partnership.

 

07/11/2007 allaboutjazz.com

An eclectic amalgam of improvisation, strong melodic themes and rhythmic twists is perhaps the best way to characterize 'Coup d'Etat', the debut album by ‘Compassionate Dictatorship’.

Comprised of four of London’s most prominent jazz musicians, Jez Franks (guitar), Tori Freestone (sax), Jasper Hoiby (bass) and Ben Raynolds (drums) manage to achieve a (cohesive) group sound that still allows each member’s original voice to be heard. ‘Compassionate Dictatorship’ is already being hailed as “one of the most exciting groups in recent years” by Avant Music Magazine and they are looking forward to a national tour in autumn of this year.

Rooted in the language of ‘modern jazz’ composers such as Chris Potter, Kurt Rosenwinkel et al, Jez Franks (and Tori Freestone on track 2) write with a fresh, vital and explorative approach. Whilst the pieces are often complex, they never feel contrived or overwritten. This is due to the effortless way in which they are performed and the composers’ keen melodic sense.

Each member of ‘Compassionate Dictatorship’ has their own unique improvisatory identity; far from the clash one might expect, the four voices complement each other well. This is especially true of Franks and Freestone who are both listening and reacting to each other; the resulting interweaving melodic lines are a high point of the album.

Jez Franks plays with intensity and passion, always developing and exploring new ideas. He has a clear articulate technique and tone, and a strong individual style. His comping is as inventive as his soloing, constantly undulating and moving.

Tori Freestone has a warm and open tone, her playing is melodic and innovative. Exploring the full range of the saxophone, Freestone effortlessly switches between fiery and haunting melodies.

The rhythm section of Hoiby and Reynolds is dynamic and exciting, they work well together and provide lift and cohesion to the group. Hoiby is Articulate and precise and Raynolds has a great dynamic range, they both groove even whilst playing in difficult feels and time signatures.

'Coup d'Etat' is a wonderful blend of virtuosity, beauty and passion. Twisting and shifting through melodic composition and inventive improvisation ‘Compassionate Dictatorship’ are exciting and exploratory yet retain a lyrical organic feel.

 

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