Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Jazz Fusion: TREVOR WATTS AMALGAM




SPONTANEOUS MUSIC 


Album Review of: 
‘CLOSER TO YOU’ 
by TREVOR WATTS AMALGAM 
 (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)

Musicians:
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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