Daily Archives: November 25, 2015

Weavels + Rothko Veil

Mick Beck: bassoon
Chris Cundy: bass clarinet
Alex Ward: electric guitar


A rare and special treat for fans of deep reeds – veteran improvisor Mick Beck lays down bassoon, Chris Cundy flies around him on bass clarinet, while Alex Ward shreds away on guitar. They have a new album out called ‘The Living Puzzle’ – highly acclaimed, as you can see below:

“The bassoon appeared in 1920s jazz recordings but bass clarinet had a deeper impact on the music. Inspired by Eric Dolphy, Cundy took it up, developing extended techniques such as multiphonics, circular breathing and micro-harmonics. Like Beck, his work shows the dividends of fighting against instrumental constraints, and they engage in agile, deep-toned dialogue, with Alex Ward’s scrabblings mostly less prominent in the mix….. The playing is garrulous and, tonally, this is very ugly beauty. “


“There’s something quintessentially English about this music: as absurd as Monty Python or The Goons and as quietly subversive as the films of Lindsay Anderson, while never drawing unnecessary attention to the diffident brilliance of its three protagonists. It’s true that the whole set fizzes with a surreal humour … but it’s directed and kept aloft by some devilishly accomplished musicianship. Hear how Alex Ward digs into frenzied shredding of the electric guitar, while Chris Cundy’s clarinet swoops and shrieks like an angry peregrine falcon, and Beck’s bassoon pokes around in the undergrowth – while all three investigate different aspects of the same puzzle.”


Rothko Veil

Ron Caines: tenor and soprano sax
Alice Eldridge: cello

Their recent debut set at Spirit of Gravity went down a storm:

“They recorded the album in 2011, and this may have been the first time they’d played together since and it really felt like something special right from the start. They started with “Sukran” one of the themes off the album, and it was a really good choice . Alice’s thrummed cello almost a bass part circling loop like while Ron’s lyrical playing really set the mood for the rest of their set and gave him a great starting point to work from… Alice going through chamber music sonorities and rhythmic parts to drones and over the bridge harshness, while Ron really let fly as the evening progressed.”

Listen to the album below:

Plus: The Wildcard Quartet