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Study II, Stringer by Barry Guy London Jazz Composers Orchestra

For a jazz lover, the joy is great when Burry Guy arrives to a concert with his travel-bass, an instrument of his own conception (Barry & Dawson). Composer Barry Guy is a very important figure in jazz, as he is also a maker of instruments and a genius when conducting his orchestras.

Founder of the London Jazz Composers Orchestra and the Barry Guy New Orchestra, this gentleman is admired throughout the world and his virtuosity is acclaimed wherever he plays. This release (Intakt reissue) reveals two pieces by two different lineups of the group.

"Study II" was originally recorded about 10 years ago. Evan Parker, Simon Picard, Pal Dunmall and Trevor Watts deploy simply a mastery of their complicated instruments. The solos carry an enormous emotional power. The trumpet section represented here by Henry Lowther, Marc Charig, and John Corbet blow away all the complicated arrangements of Guy’s imagination. Conny Bauer sounds splendid and unique as ever. The voices that Bauer has found with his trombone are always a delight to the ear. Wachsmann's violin is poignant as is Irène Schweizer on the piano. Paul Lytton is brilliant into his stick's tricks.

"Stringer" (Four Pieces for Orchestra) is a compilation of a collective effort which allows every musician to get their spotlight. This is the thing with Barry Guy: the orchestration is always orchestrated while each musician (and they are "all stars") is able to express their own voice under the enormous energy and magic that Barry Guy deploys when conducting. "Music doesn't need to be complicated" says Barry Guy and these sentences sound easy as his music magistrates.

The art work (booklet) of the CD is well documented and it will stay in your hands the whole time you listen to the entire album.

The second part of the CD "Stringer," is where the influence of Burry Guy is well exposed. He brings his first class line up to an ecstatic musicality as he does with his audiences. Part III opens fantastically with the reed section where Evan Parker reminds us why he’s compared to Coltrane. The conversational dialog between the late Peter Kowald and Barry Guy is magnificent.

Despite the time that inexorably passes, Barry Guy remains the conductor who knows how to brighten his compositions and arrangements with the personality of every improviser in his orchestra.

Orchestration in jazz is not easy so if you are a jazz audiophile, do yourself a favor: go once to a concert where Barry Guy is conducting one of his orchestras.... you will take your hat off!!! Not only is this gentleman always improvising concepts into and all over the avant-garde, but also in classical music, and he is without a doubt one of the greatest jazz legends of our century.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Barry Guy London Jazz Composers Orchestra
  • CD Title: Study II, Stringer
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Reissue Original Release: 1983
  • Record Label: Intakt Records
  • Tracks: Study II, Stringer (Four Pieces for Orchestra, Parts I-IV)
  • Musicians: Track 1: Barry Guy (bass, director), Irene Schweizer (piano), Henry Lowther (trumpet), Marc Charig (trumpet), Jon Corbett (trumpet), Conrad Bauer (trombone), Radu Malfatti (trombone), Alan Tomlinson (trombone), Steve Wick (tuba), Trevor Watts (reeds), Evan Parker (reeds), Simon Picard (reeds), Paul Dunmall (reeds), Peter McPhail (reeds, flute),Philipp Wachsmann (violin), Barre Phillips (bass), Paul Lytton (percussion). Recorded: 2/2/91, Zürich. Track 2: Kenny Wheeler (trumpet, flugelhorn), Harry Beckett (trumpet), Dave Spence (trumpet), Paul Rutherford (trombone), Alan Tomlinson (trombone), Paul Nieman (trombone), Melvin Poore (tuba), Trevor Watts (reeds), Evan Parker (reeds), Peter Brötzmann (reeds), Larry Stabbins (reeds), Tony Coe (reeds), Philipp Wachsmann (violin), Howard Riley ( piano), Tony Oxley (percussion), John Stevens (percussion), Barry Guy (bass) Peter Kowald (bass). Recorded: 3/26/80, BBC. First released as FMP LP, 1983
  • Rating: Five Stars
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