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Bebop Spoken There

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Friday, March 02, 2012

CD Review: All There, Ever Out Alexander Hawkins Ensemble

Alexander Hawkins (piano & Hammond B3 organ), Javier Carmona (drums & percussion), Otto Fischer (guitar), Dominic Lash (double bass), Hannah Marshall (cello) & Orphy Robinson (marimba) + Kit Downes (Hammond B3 organ) 
 Alexander Hawkins has visited Tyneside on several occasions with his own ensemble and in the quartet he co-leads with bassist Dominic Lash, Taylor Ho Bynum and Harris Eisenstadt (collectively the Convergence Quartet). 
All There, Ever Out is the Hawkins’ Ensemble’s second release on the Babel label. Hawkins balances the freely improvised with structured composition; the pendulum swings from one to the other within a given piece as conversations are struck between two, then three or more instruments. Tatum Totem III features Hawkins’ sparkling piano playing, Otto Fischer’s incisive ‘out’ excursions, Orphy Robinson (marimba) and sharp drumming from Javier Carmona. Ahab with its military march piano, drum rolls and abundant humour puts this track firmly in the Rootie Tootie tradition of Monk (and Tracey). 
An untitled group composition - (Untitled Free Improvisation) - spotlights Hawkins’ piano and one of Hannah Marshall’s many effective Downtown cello contributions. Hawkins’ talents as composer, musician and bandleader are distilled on Elmoic, the stand-out track of this wonderful new album. Myriad influences coalesce – Tatum swing, stride, off-kilter Monk and finally the big ensemble sound propelled Mingus-like by bassist Dominic Lash. 
All There, Ever Out with liner notes by Taylor Ho Bynum is released on April 9th on the Babel label (Babel BDV1196). The CD launch is at the Vortex, London on April 22nd. The Alexander Hawkins Ensemble will be touring later this year. 
Those within touching distance of Newcastle can hear Hawkins next week (Thursday March 8th ) with Vole in a much anticipated gig at the Bridge Hotel.
Russell                

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