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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Maya
WORKS: Various
PERFORMER: Ken Vandermark (sax), Barry Guy (bass), Mark Sanders (percussion)
CATALOGUE NO: MCD 0901

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This line-up is a guarantee of superlative exploratory improvisation.

Guy has been one of my musical heroes, as performer, composer and organiser of superb bands for a full four-decades; Sanders has continued to bowl me over since I saw him with Evan Parker in 1988; Vandermark is one of the most accomplished, exciting saxophonists to grace the genre. So, what’s not to like? 

This double-album is culled from performances in Birmingham and Leeds during a tour in November 2008, and it just makes you wish you had been there.

All three are on electrifying form, playing with fearsome intensity and abandon, yet always alive to what the others are doing and the overall effect of the music.

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Underpinning the pulse-racing excitement and tantalising explorations of textures, there is a potent, unsentimental lyricism. Improv at its best. Barry Witherden