Thursday, May 03, 2012

Alexander Hawkins review, Financial Times

The Oxford-based pianist/composer’s wayward harmonies, crosscurrent rhythms and jazz/classical influences conjure the experimental jazz of the mid-50s. Opening track “Ologbo” counterpoints firm and speedy walking bass with half-tempo plucked cello. Orphy Robinson’s fluent marimba adds to the forward momentum, “Tatum Totem III” wobbles elliptically over unsettling guitar; and “Ahab” firms up a drunken opening melody into cascading free-jazz piano. Hawkins scores his sextet ambitiously. The collective improv is rich with ideas, and moments of brilliance compensate for the occasional lull.

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