This quartet represents the collaboration of two of the most distinctive voices of their generation, and stakes out a remarkable common ground from the pair’s vast range of influences and experience. The repertoire fuses Elaine Mitchener’s unique way with both melody and abstraction, with Alexander Hawkins’ idiosyncratic compositional and pianistic world; as well as spotlighting reimaginings of a small number of beautiful Jazz tunes which reveal the influence of precursors such as Jeanne Lee and Archie Shepp. Structurally, the group with Neil Charles on bass and Stephen Davis on drums function as complete equals, veering radically from the traditional norm of ‘singer plus rhythm section’, instead treating this as only one possible dynamic amongst many.
Brian Morton writes in the liner notes: „This is music that speaks directly to our condition, our uprootedness and our strange fixities of purpose alike. It is clever and emotional. It comes out of jazz, and a whole lot else besides. Mathematicians have mostly done their great work by the age of 30. Musicians often continue to mature for decades. Here is a group, populated by some of our most singular and precious talents, whose greatest talent is to communicate, and whose music already bearthe signs of maturity and longevity.
released November 17, 2017
Neil Charles: Double Bass
Stephen Davis: Drums, Percussion
Alexander Hawkins: Piano
Elaine Mitchener: Voice
All compositions by Alexander Hawkins, except ‘Why Is Love Such a Funny Thing?’ (Patty Waters); ‘The Miracle’ (Jeanne Lee); ‘Blasé’ (Archie Shepp); ‘Directives’ (Elaine Mitchener); and ‘If You Say So’ (Charles/Davis/Hawkins/Mitchener). Hawkins published by Big Life/In All Seriousness Music Ltd.; Charles/Davis/Mitchener by PRS. Lyrics by the composers, except ‘UpRoot’ (Lyn Hejinian), ‘Environment Music’ (Emily Co), and ‘I’ll Meet You There’ (Rumi, trans. Coleman Barks). Recorded April 19, 20, 2017, at Fish Factory Studios, London, by Benedic Lamdin. Mixed by Benedic Lamdin. Mastered by Alex Bonney. Liner notes: Brian Morton. Photos: Dawid Laskowski, Roberto Cifarelli. Cover art & graphic design: Jonas Schoder. Produced by Alexander Hawkins/Elaine Mitchener and Intakt Records, Patrik Landolt.
Total, complete, and absolute dope! Hawkins has several great albums (including the AH Ensemble ones) but this one really puts his artistry and compositional chops at whole new levels. Do not miss this one! Lula
This music has everything I need: acoustic instruments, a slow build, layers of atypical harmonies and rhythms being added each pass through, subtle melodies and combinations. Excellent work! Little James