9 Points In Ascent

by Graham Halliwell & Simon H. Fell

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about

Acoustic duo improvisations, beautifully recorded.

---------- selected press quotes ----------

"Another fine release from Bruce's Fingers. Given what you would imagine to be a fairly limited pallet of sounds & timbres from these particular instruments, it's extraordinary the range of colours on display. This must surely be the mark of gifted players turning their prowess in towards the needs of the music. Superbly recorded by Halliwell at UEA in Norwich, capturing what was no doubt a memorable day's music making." Nick Smith AVANT

"Bassist Simon H. Fell thrives on extreme situations (Hession/Wilkinson/Fell, Descension, Ist). Yet he never omits the direct, gratifying groove that signals jazz. Here his continuous, lightfingered responses to Halliwell's Braxtonish exploration of the nastier end of the alto have a buoyant swing reminiscent of the lines Charlie Haden played for Ornette. Sometimes Fell's bowing gets so close to the sound of Halliwell's sax the mind reels; sounds lift off from the instruments and appear to speak pure ideas. Both the burden of tradition and the jadedness of repertoire are jettisoned as Halliwell and Fell vault themselves into the next chapter of jazz. Superb. A:1" Ben Watson HIFI NEWS & RECORD REVIEW

"It's good to hear Fell in such an exposed space again. His work as a composer is undoubtedly important but, like his hero Charles Mingus, it's easy to forget what a fine bass player he is. He has an undeniable legitimate technique, but prefers to pull the bass in other directions, most of which will be familiar to the improvised music initiate. His quickfire chromatic rumble, however, punctuated by noise-effects with seemingly impossible fluidity, is something all of his own. Fell's most impressive duo and trio partners tend to meet him on his home ground, which is good old-fashioned improvised interaction with the emphasis on moving the music forwards and minimising the scrabbling about which comes with the territory. These are taut, focused dialogues on the whole, musical ideas darting from one player to the other without ever seeming to come to rest. Indeed, the very obliquity of this music will probably remind some listeners of Parker and Guy (or Barre Phillips) even if these are musicians with something quite different by way of technique and approach. All of this is a credit to Halliwell, whose temperament seems to fit with Fell's so seamlessly. These are both players with a rich palette of sounds and enough technique to get beyond gimmickry and into music of considerable depth and variety." Richard Cochrane RESONANCE

"A brilliant celebration of free improv; purely acoustic, no studio trickery, just two unique voices engaged in the kind of slippery dialogue no-one has heard bass and saxophone enter into since Parker and Guy." Richard Cochrane MUSINGS

"Deceptively complex, this duo of Graham Halliwell's alto saxophone and Simon Fell's string bass brings forth an incredible array of sounds, leading to improvised music of the highest order. Halliwell wears a coat of many colors, all of which shine with brilliant intensity. His abrasively abstract tones, with occasional flutters or multi - phonics, inhabit a broad expanse, stretching boundaries, and interweaving constructions of intense beauty. Fell's bass can be slow and brittle, or energetically frenetic, with a full, in-your-face sound. The clever packaging, which lets the listener change the cover at whim, and the clear sound, are icing on the cake." Steven A Loewy ALL MUSIC GUIDE

to see full press reviews for this album, visit www.brucesfingers.co.uk/catalogue/bf24reviews.html

credits

released 20 April 1998
Graham Halliwell: alto sax
Simon H. Fell: double bass

1997 (52 mins.) in jewel box
© Bruce's Fingers 1998

full track listing:
1. In The Presence Of The Heavy Point [05:50]
2. Free Curve To The Point [07:28]
3. Free Wave-Like Line With Accent [07:26]
4. Simple And Unified Complex Of Several Free Lines [02:31]
5. Wave-Like Line Accompanied By Geometric Lines [05:33]
6. Colour Attained Through A Minimum Of Colour [04:15]
7. 9 Points In Ascent [07:00]
8. Dissolution In Progress [05:15]
9. Cool Tension Toward The Centre [07:01]

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about

Graham Halliwell & Simon H. Fell

Real-time, real-sound, real-instrument free improvisations for alto saxophone and double bass. Simon & Graham started playing together in the mid-1990s, but at the time of writing haven't played together for a while.
[photos: Jo Fell]

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