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Double Talk

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Album Review

It is easy to forget that foremost progressive rock sideman Theo Travis is a fine jazz saxophonist and bandleader — and even was so before his involvement in groups such as Gong, the Tangent, Soft Machine Legacy, and Porcupine Tree. Double Talk is his eighth record with his own group, here a quartet featuring guitarist Mike Outram, drummer Roy Dodds, and Pete Whittaker on Hammond organ. That's right, no bassist, which opens up more space for the Hammond, lusciously dirty in a few tracks, such as the bluesy "And So It Seemed." Travis is a melodious sax player and a melody-driven composer. On Double Talk, his tunes are sweet bordering on romantic, and overall unthreatening. Therefore, the album is enjoyable but lacking in spice. However, it does have a few original quirks, starting with the upward progression of "Ascending," a strong though rather long opening number. The 16-minute "Oblivionville" is the first of three tracks featuring guest Robert Fripp (yes, of King Crimson fame) layering guitar soundscapes, to which Travis adds his own flute loops. Sadly, the piece ends on a rather trite melody that feels gratuitous in that context. Other highlights include the aforementioned "And So It Seemed," the album's gritty moment, and the spirited "Portobello 67," where the saxophonist finally goes wild (he tends to restrain himself and stick to his own charts through the rest of the album). The quartet also offers a cover of Pink Floyd's "See Emily Play," nicely arranged but too respectful for its own good. Double Talk is an enjoyable Blue Note-inspired record, although it won't change your life. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Biography

Born: 07 July 1964 in Birmingham, West Midlands, Englan

Genre: Jazz

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

Theo Travis has become one of the more active jazz artists and composers in the U.K. In addition to having his own group, he is in demand as a sideman by musicians from a variety of musical genres. For example, Travis joined Daevid Allen's space rock group Gong on their European tour in 2000 and appears on the group's Zero to Infinity, released that year. He also created a project dubbed Cipher with bass player Dave Sturt; has performed and recorded in a duo with guitarist Robert Fripp (as heard...
Full bio
Double Talk, Theo Travis
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 06 December 2007

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