Andy Middleton, saxophone, Sheila Cooper, saxophone; Kenny Wheeler, trumpet and flugelhorn, Nils Wogram, trombone; Darcy Hepner, clarinet and bass clarinet; Henry Hey, piano; John Hebert, bass; Owen Howard, drums
A throaty, somber opening for Andy Middleton and his group with, "Ode To Ken Saro Wiwa"; all tracks are composed and arranged by Andy Middleton, with the exception of "Bass Intro", written by bass player John Hebert. In "Les Beaux", trumpeter Kenny Wheeler and pianist Henry Hey put together fine solos; "Three Mile Island" expresses some equally fine harmonic shades, but "Naugahide" keeps us in a melancholic state. Even a lively solo from Andy Middelton still does little to lift the edgy gloom; Nils Wogram has a few words to say on trombone, but the backing players still hold the mood; an enjoyably glum piece. There is a piquant, resigned taste about the whole affair; a plaintive air that is not unattractive or heavy handed. Without any information whatsoever to glean from the liner, we must presume that reinventing the world is quite a struggle. This is a good set, though, nicely arranged, well played, and if you like being influenced by a mood, it is time to get a wee bit sad.
by Ferdinand Maylin