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Album Review

By 1994, bassist Barry Guy was a kind of father figure to the burgeoning numbers of younger musicians exploring free improvisation. His membership in the seminal Iskra 1903 group, his own extraordinary London Jazz Composers Orchestra, and simply his amazing facility and creativity on the bass had made him one of the most respected figures on the scene. All the more to his credit was his insistence on performing and recording with younger musicians, often providing a platform from which their own careers mushroomed. This trio is one such venture. As usual, Guy is consistently inventive, prodding, and exploratory, and finds an excellent partner in Strid, whose cadences often have the natural rhythm of an upended cupboardful of kitchenware. Gustafsson is the wild card here. At this point in his development he was still at the point where his incredibly prolix technique would sometimes get in the way of group interaction. But one can sense that he was beginning to rein himself in and to listen more carefully and, when that occurs, this trio breathes as one and some stunning music emerges. On cuts like the closing "The Importance of Oxidation," the sounds flower into a spellbinding and thrilling whole and cause one to hunger for more. Recommended.


Born: 22 April 1947 in London, England

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The leader of an exciting avant-garde big band called the London Jazz Composers Orchestra beginning in 1970, Barry Guy is one of the top free-form string bassists, able to get a wide variety of unusual sounds out of his instrument. Classically trained, Guy has had simultaneous careers in advanced jazz and contemporary classical music. He was in the Spontaneous Music Ensemble with Trevor Watts and John Stevens (1967-1970), has played in a variety of adventurous small groups (including Amalgam...
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You Forget to Answer, Barry Guy
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