Friday, July 13, 2012

Blink review, Guardian

Blink: Twice – review

3 out of 5
The gifted young British pianist and composer Alcyona Mick wrote much of the material on this double album, which splices a 2010 studio recording and a Vortex Club live set. The byzantine twists and staccato accents of her opening Mummy's Boy over Paul Clarvis's robust drumming characterises the band's quirky variations on postbop's melodic ideas. Robin Fincker's glowering mood piece Hall C and spiky No 7 are vehicles for low-end improv on piano and tenor sax. Country Life is an enigmatic boogie with a quiet clarinet theme, and Mick's slowly unveiled Underfoot, with its softly hooting brief fragment of melody, paints an expressive picture with very few strokes. The only cover is of saxophonist Steve Lacy's hypnotic Image, which sounds like aThelonious Monk theme in very low gear. The live set also includes cellist Vincent Courtois, and has a more open and improv-oriented air at times, powerfully exploited by Clarvis. Even so, Waltz is melancholically and romantically gentle, and the closing In Two Minds is a quiet improv conversation. Blink's music is often understated, but their material is full of character and improv resourcefulness to match.

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