Wednesday, October 02, 2013


Check out what's new on Babel...
Opabinia released 18 September 2013 is the debut album by the Dominic Lash Quartet which consists of Alexander Hawkins (piano), Javier Carmona (drums), Ricardo Tejero (sax) and the man himself Dominic Lash (bass). Lash takes the lead for this project with the quartet playing his compositions which retains a healthy respect for the art of improvisation / improv. He is a thinking man's musician with a commitment to experimenting. Compositions for improvisors may sound a bit of an oxymoron but even Lash's compositions are held together by something no matter how fine. Lash says he has never seen himself strictly as a 'jazz man' because his style owes as much to contemporary classical as it does to jazz. Whatever, he is undoubtedly an adventurous composer who has been described as a  musical stylist.

Lash also leads the Convergence Quartet with Alexander Hawkins whose other members include Taylor Ho Bynum, Harris Eisenstadt, which has been called a 'transatlantic band'. In fact, all are strong composers and improvisors in their own right ,and to say that there is a 'leader' is just plain wrong. Sebastian Scotney interviews Alexander Hawkins for London Jazz News about the band and the upcoming Vortex gig Tues 8th October 20.30  The band started from a precarious concept gradually finding a way to make their different stylistic languages gel. John Fordham described the band as 'a powerful example of 21st century musical catholicity, uninhibitedly mingling improv, contemporary classical composition, old jazz and new abstractions'. Now there's an accolade.
Pianist and composer Alexander Hawkins has two new albums ready for release in November. First in line is Step Wide, Step Deep due out 4/11/13 with the Alexander Hawkins Ensemble, followed by Song Singular on 11/11/13, which is a solo. His debut album All There, Ever Out  (Babel) released April 2012, was well received and Hawkins was named as a newcomer to watch  by many pundits. One reviewer even commented, 'It has been the Holy Grail of jazz since its inception: to carve out the perfect balance between the written and the spontaneously invented. While All There, Ever Out may not be the definitive statement, English pianist Alexander Hawkins has taken a bold stab at a new version of the equation, combining composition and improvisation in exciting and unpredictable ways'. It remains to be seen how audiences and reviewers will take to the new works one year on after setting such a high standard. I can say though get ready for a treat. 
Watch this space for more news about new Babel releases coming soon.

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