And that from anguish to giddy silliness, and everything in between is the scope of [A]part. It is a massive piece in every way: challenging to the ear and the mind, highly original (as we know Kirkwood to always be), often cerebral and abstract, all the time threatening to be too much to take in in one sitting. But what saves it from possible overwhelm is that Kirkwood never loses the emotional thread in the music; it is human music and it consistently makes you feel. Sometimes, as with all valid contemporary art, those feelings can be baffling or even plain uncomfortable, but you do feel them deeply.
The horn unison passages have the extraordinary unity – bright and seemingly electrically fused – that characterised the famous pairing or alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman and trumpeter Don Cherry; while their solos are freely melodic, somewhat in the Coleman vein.
on ‘Brother Sykes’ – The band play around each other here, as if conversing, exchanging their grief – the feeling is one of a wake, funereal and puffed-out. It is a nod to the complete musicianship of Alex Boneham that the bass dominates here, expressing so much in answer to the gray-blues and watery mauves thrown at him by Rose and Garbett. All seems to happen underwater, beneath a heavy lid of mortality.
With some colourful street art as a backdrop, The Vampires give a dimly-lit alleyway and a small group of passers-by a special performance of ‘All […]