Album Info

Avant-Garde, Structured Improvisation, Free Improvisation, Avant-Garde Jazz

Album Review

This is one of the last performances of John Stevens with his Spontaneous Music Ensemble before his death several months after the recording was made. This version of the group is a trio with Stevens on drums and pocket trumpet, Roger Smith on guitar, and John Butcher on tenor and soprano saxes. All of the elements are here that contributed through the years to the consistently high quality of the various formulations of the SME: technical virtuosity of the performers, highly compatible styles, and utterly free improvisation where anything goes. Very British in approach (small sounds and little humor), this trio is a worthy extension of the SME name. Stevens performs aggressively on drums, while his trumpet is always a raw, but certain pleasure. Butcher shows a relatively early, though still impressive, side to his extraordinary abilities, while Roger Smith fits in beautifully with Stevens' concepts. Difficult music to listen to, but ultimately rewarding, the two live sets recorded on this album are fine examples of the SME's doings in the last months of Stevens' life.
Steven Loewy, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Introduction
  2. Stig
  3. So This Is Official
  4. Tape Delight
  5. Uneasy Options
  6. A Certain Elegance