61CD - Trevor Watts and Stephen Grew Duo - All There Is
It’s been said on quite a few occasions after concerts of this duo, that it sounds as though there’s a real affinity within the playing. This comes through very much so in their new recording “All There Is”. Within it they use the full spectrum of dynamics and techniques that have been developed individually over their differing careers. Watts’ roots go back to the very beginnings of improvised music as a founder member of the SME in the 1960’s and Stephen Grew has been part of the Improvised Music scene since 1994 and has played consistently on the national and international circuit, both as a soloist and in numerous collaborations.
The combination of their playing styles leads for a very potent and visceral experience, but also has interludes of great tenderness. The music has both a relaxed, and “on the edge” feel at the same time, as all truly improvised music has. Relaxed because that’s the way the play it, and on the edge because nobody, let alone the musicians, knows where it’s going. But the previously mentioned affinity is the glue that makes it all work ever so well together!
Discus Music us delighted to make this distinguished improvising duo available ona disc recorded and produced by Shaun Blezard with artwork by Silena Lena.
Trevor Watts - alto and soprano saxophones
Stephen Grew - piano
A strong and enthralling set of dialogs captured live from the working duo of pianist Stephen Grew and saxophonist Trevor Watts on alto & soprano, intricate exchanges of great energy but also great compassion and introspection, a well-rounded set of adventurous exchanges that highlight the incredible skills of both players. – SQUIDCO
Alto and soprano saxophonist Trevor Watts (1939) is one of the founders of the British improvisation scene (see his contribution to Spontaneous Music Ensemble since 1965 or London Jazz Composers' Orchestra 1970, but also his own Amalgam since 1967 or Moiré Music). So we remember it in Prague - as one of the innovatory icons, each performance of which confirms the versatility of the scene. Stephen Grew Pianist Stephen Grew (here on the Kawai mini grand piano) belongs to a much younger generation (he was drowning his age, but Wikipedia discovered that he was born "around" in 1970), but he did play not only in the Grutronic ensemble but also in his own formations, With Tony Biance, Howard Riley and others.
The performance of the couple took place in January 2017 in Lancaster's Baptist Church and is divided into seven peripetios, pretending to break into a jump, speculated by a profoundly encrypted screaming, where the protruding piano undercuts sax, holed-up or disheveled. Everything is here in a constant two-pole motion, though non-inverse, but mutually provocative. As the title of this two-generation "match," All There Is , everything is here, from dynamic prowessing with dramatic accentuation to fuzzy contouring. Both players are always ready to shoot, scratch or rumble, they get up to wild rage, from which the sax is screaming into a banging loop, they break into the tunnels, they get bored, they play wildly, they hunt without Trap networks. The charming breeze of the piano, occasionally pervasive, sometimes heated with jagged strings, excites the trampoline interaction with the splitting, beating or thrusting sax, while Watts produces changes in expression as well as how instruments change.
All of this is done in all conceivable perpetualities, behind piano lavirating, as well as saxophone pajanation and shouting, both instruments growing, jumping, overtaking, enchanting with perseverance, eagerly intermingling in a frightened and writhing bout. It's an unprecedented album, sometimes hump-like, but mostly racing, unmanageable, but preposterously catchy. From moment to moment, everything changes, and from the relaxation the situation at the edge of the knife breaks. When the obsessive chuckiness breaks in or spreads into vertigo, and we are constantly drawn into unexpected excitement during this thrilling exudation, so we panting as we listen to the undisclosed ending. – KULTURNI (Google translation)