Label: Honest Jon's
Honest Jon's Records present a reissue of Company's Epiphany, originally released in 1982. Epiphany \ i-ˈpi-fə-nē \ (1) a manifestation of the essential nature of something (usually sudden) (2) an intuitive grasp of reality through something (usually simple and striking) (3) an illuminating discovery or disclosure. All three definitions apply perfectly to this span of music recorded at London's ICA in July 1982. It's a miracle of group interaction, wonderfully paced, moving steadily between moments of mounting intensity and tension. The passage about halfway through -- when Derek Bailey's harmonics ring out above a sheen of inside piano tremolos and shimmering electronics, topped off by Julie Tippetts's soaring vocalese -- is simply sublime. After which it's fun to try and tell the two pianists apart. Are those runs Ursula Oppens, with her formidable technique honed from years performing some of the twentieth century's most difficult notated new music, or are those Keith Tippett's crunchy jazz zigzags? Are those intriguing twangs from one of Akio Suzuki's invented instruments or could they be Fred Frith's or Phil Wachsmann's electronics? Bah, who cares? There's plenty of room for the more delicate instruments too, like Anne LeBaron's harp picking its way gingerly through a pin-cushion of pings and scratches from Bailey and bassist Motoharu Yoshizawa. Of course, some performers are instantly recognizable: Tippetts, as lyrical and flighty on flute as when she sings, Phil Wachsmann, sinuous and sensitive on violin, and trombonist George Lewis, who, as John Zorn once put it, "swings his motherfucking ass off." So many magical moments abound, from the opening dawn chorus of Tippetts' voice and Frith's guitar swooping through a rainforest of exquisite piano cascades, to the Zen calm of the closing moments. Epiphany, indeed. Housed in a gatefold sleeve.
Cat. number: HJRLP211
Recorded between June 29 and July 3, 1982 in London during Company Week. This 2019 reissue contains only the contents of the first lp from the original issue, though it is now spread over two lps, played at 45 RPM.
This is the first part of a three-part release, which contains all of the music on the original Epiphany release as well as additional material from the same festival. The second part is labeled Epiphanies I-VI (double lp, HJRLP212) & the third part is labeled Epiphanies VII-XIII (triple lp, HJRLP213).