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Very much in the tradition of Anthony Braxton's seminal For Alto, or Evan Parker's Monocerous, this wonderful new album by clarinettist Alex Ward is improvised free jazz at its most unencumbered and radical, charting a solitary musician's excursion into pure expression. Divided into four segments, this set was committed to tape at Abbey Road Studios at the beginning of the year, taking in all manner of logic defying techniques and virtuosic sequences, as well as stretching the parameters of what's actually possible with a reed instrument. Thankfully it's not all about technique, and Ward's improvisation can be absolutely beautiful - lyrical even - when he's not mimicking an enraged mallard. Splendid.
Cat. number: TRD 011CD