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Recordings » Forensic
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Ingrid Laubrock [saxophones, voice]
Ben Davis [cello]
Karim Merchant [piano]
Larry Bartley [bass]
Tom Skinner [drums]
Julian Siegel [bass clarinet]

 

Saxophonist Laubrock has been a worthwhile presence on the London jazz scene for several years now, leading her own bands with a bit of nous as well as contributing grace and guile to the Brazilian Ensemble Nois4. This new set reflects an increased bravura in both her composing and soloing, almost as if she knows she can push herself and her collaborators without things going off the rails. The opening salvo Forensic Experts is proof thereof; an urgency, a kind of controlled vexation governs the way she places some beautifully curled, skipping notes around Larry Bartley's economic but effective and downright dark bassline. There is a groove-swing thing going on that craftily squeezes the energy of electric Miles into an acoustic context in a manner not dissimilar to that of Dave Holland's high octane excursions. A most potent punch is packed. That level of invention is maintained throughout the set as Laubrock's arrangement prove to be smartly evolutionary, drawing on anything from contemporary classical austerities to edgy soundtrack strains to incantatory ethnic percussion (The sneaky, sulphurous counter rhythm of bells on Monologue Man pt2).

 

“Maybe a few of the pieces could have done with a touch more concision but the slightly loose, lunging character of the album feels right for a predominately dark, moody ambience that highlights the leader's strength of character in no uncertain terms. Inventive, intuitive and at times inflammatory, Forensic is an album that wholly corroborates any case you'd care to make for Laubrock as an artist of real substance.” (Kevin Le Gendre, Echoes)

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