Veryan Weston, Piano
John Edwards, Bass
Mark Sanders, Percussion
Recorded on June 24, 1998 at the Mercury Theater in Colchester without any amplification, this recording shows the empathy and interplay of group improvisation at its best. Weston piano is the center here but he manages to subdue the nearly 300 year old traditions that usually swallow up lesser improvisers at the battleship. Here he is fleet, fastfingered and spare at the same time. He doesnt overrun his fellow explorers with ten fingers doing Cecilisms without a musical point being made. Veryan certainly seems at home within the jazz traditions that he hints at as well as the 20th Century piano vernacular but that is not the point here. The group is the thing and making room for group exploration is what makes this so listenable. To that end, much credit goes to Mark Sanders whose percussion is ever so light and inviting. It would be easy for a drummer to take the challenge an bash away or to be king of the volume but he understands being a group player and keeps urging and hustling his fellow players to stay in the moment with him. To this end he urges beautiful and surprising bowing for bassist, John Edwards for example and allows beautiful duets to occur naturally. Edwards has the tough job here as an unamplified string player. It would be easy to get lost in the polyrhythmic flight of his companions but once again, these three understand their own group dynamic and the bass acts as a gravity well to hold sway and guide as well as converse in the upper registers. This is one very organic group construction and the playing revealed within is like eating a fresh fruit. Nothing surprising but everything about it satisfies the taste buds of the most jaded listener as well as slakes the thirst if you like it hot.
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