Blue-Eyed Hawk: Under the Moon

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Blue-Eyed Hawk
LABELS: Edition
WORKS: Under the Moon
PERFORMER: Lauren Kinsella (voice), Alex Roth (guitar), Laura Judd (trumpet) etc


Assuming that jazz is whatever music you can programme into a jazz festival without it seeming obviously irrelevant, and that the sound of surprise still has currency in some quarters, this recently-toured group will hopefully have been welcomed by more adventurous audiences. While comparisons don’t really cut it, a list of tickable boxes might include the dark ambient trumpet school of Nils Petter Molvaer, the avant-balladeering of Norma Winstone, Christian Fennesz-style guitar treatments and an ancestral memory of avant-gardists Art Bears. Yet all of these are gently subverted by folky interludes and Kinsella’s vocals, the latter redolent with the anthemic jazz phrasing that could happily underpin a torch song.

The result is rather brilliant; to call it ‘wayward’ rather points up the conservatism of the times, alas. The recorded sound and production (from Polar Bear’s Tom Herbert and electronicist Leafcutter John) serve the music well.


Roger Thomas