Tag Archives: Simon Barker

Album review: The Bitter Suite (Paul Grabowsky Sextet) by John Shand

Just as the album’s title is both brooding and punning, so the music is in a constant flux of what, were it writing, we would call ‘tone’. Grabowsky can seem to create a pastiche of an idiom out of which a deep truth will grow in the improvising, while a more solemn-sounding piece will spawn sly asides and dramatic jolts from the players, or perhaps contain an unexpectedly curdled harmony.

Faceless Dullard (Hannaford, Tinkler, Barker) | Review by John Clare

Faceless Dullard cover

These magical buoyancies rise from a persistent, intricate conversation of remarkable cohesion and purpose. Propositions are advanced and tested, sometimes at the same dynamic level, sometimes breaking into sensational bursts of energy. And for long stretches it all moves beyond conversation as if three lines of counterpoint are being written simultaneously by a single composer.

Billy the Rabbit (alive and singing)

Gyan Michael side stage

‘Michael is a kind of visual jazz artist. He doesn’t like to be scripted; in fact he’s a bit of a daredevil. As much as you’d like to plan, Michael would rather walk a tightrope. We offer the scaffolding in that there’s a set list and there are opportunities for improvisation, where we veer away from song form and build a different type of picture.’