Tuesday, 28 July 2020



Album Review of: 
 (HI4Head Records HFHCD019) www.hi4headrecords.com 

At first glance co-producer Keith Beal’s dripping dribbling cover-art is a messy colourful abstraction, until, the more you look, the more it assumes human form and expression. Amalgam is a similar concoction. Alto-man Trevor Watts was a vital ingredient in free-jazz Spontaneous Music Ensemble, collectively exploring the outer limits of improvisation with drummer John Stevens. Long-time ‘Melody Maker’ favourites, the various line-ups of his more-accessible side-project, Amalgam, also produced a series of fine albums, led by ‘Prayer For Peace’ in 1969. By the time of this 1978 set, originally issued on cult Ogun label (OG 528), they’d pared down to a power-trio. From the dizzying blizzard that Trevor’s staccato sax soars and dances across the sharp attacking jazz-fusion rhythm interactions of bassist Colin McKenzie and Liam Genockey’s precise drum-pulse on opener “De Dublin Ting”, into the slower more considered three-way conversation “South Of Nowhere”, before nodding to Roland Kirk on the full eerie 19:37-minute original vinyl second side. Although abstract in its compressed flaring fold-ins, overlapping telepathic trick-trips, internal squiggles and wrangling dynamics, repeated plays reveal its intensely human form and expression. Now, the four original track playing-time is near-doubled by a wealth of archive bonus cuts.

Original tracks:
‘De Dublin Ting’ (Trevor Watts), ‘South Of Nowhere (With Quiet Beginnings)’ (Colin McKenzie, Watts, Liam Genockey), ‘Keep Right’ (Trevor Watts), ‘Dear Roland’ (McKenzie, Watts, Genockey)

Bonus tracks:
‘Mad’ (Trevor Watts), ‘Seaside Blues’ (Trevor Watts), ‘Albert Like’ (Trevor Watts), ‘Bottle Alley’ (McKenzie, Watts, Genockey), ‘Latino Flo’ (Trevor Watts)

Trevor Watts (alto and Soprano saxophones)
Colin McKenzie (bass guitar)
Liam Genockey (drums)

Published in:
‘R’N’R’ Vol.2 No.64 July-August’ 
(UK – July 2017)


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