Barry Guy New Orchestra: Oort-Entropy (2005)
Seminal free jazz bassist Barry Guy is responsible for manning some of the finest albums in this rather opaque genre. Aside from his longtime affiliations with saxophonist Evan Parker and drummer Paul Lyttonboth of whom are featured herethe bassist is no stranger to leading exploratory ensembles.
Guy's small orchestra equates to a multinational tentet. Sure, he's a killer bassist, but more importantly, this release signifies an autonomous union of like-minded spirits where shape and form play a significant role in the artists' numerous improvisational exercises.
The musicians come at you from just about every conceivable angle. Their music often stirs notions of an organized form of lawlessness as the soloists interact with fractured call and response techniques during pianist Agusti Fernandez's merger of blitzing chord clusters and classical-type arpeggios. However, this outing is not anything even remotely akin to a boisterous free for all.
Parker, clarinetist Hans Koch, and others are apt to engage in complex unison lines amid stop-start phrasings. Furthermore, Guy's vividly enacted compositions are also implanted within a shock therapy methodology. But the orchestra is equally adept at winding the momentum down a few notches, and at times like this, glimpses of Ellington come to mind. With mystical attributes, mind-blowing aural affects, and feverish soloing maneuvers, Oort-Entropy will most assuredly find itself on quite a few annual top ten lists as we close out 2005!
Track Listing: Part i; Part ii; Part iii.
Personnel: Barry Guy: director, bass; Agusti Fernandez: piano; Evan Parker: tenor, soprano saxophones; Mats Gustafsson: baritone saxophone; fluteophone; Hans Koch: bass clarinet; Johannes Bauer: trombone; Herb Robertson: trumpet, flugelhorn; Per Ake Holmlander: tuba; Paul Lytton: percussion; Raymond Strid: percussion. Recorded May and July, 2004, Baden Baden.