Partikel

COMPOSERS: Partikel
LABELS: Whirlwind Recordings
ALBUM TITLE: Partikel
WORKS: Cohesion
PERFORMER: Duncan Eagles (sax), Max Luthert (bass), Eric Ford (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: WR 4618

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Partikel had been developing its music for 18 months before cutting this, their second album. Particularly crucial were the regular sessions they have been conducting for over a year at the Hideaway in Streatham, South London. You can hear that preparation and familiarisation here, but that does not mean their playing has become smoothed out or predictable in the process: the relative security of such sessions can provide a springboard for greater adventurousness, as with, notably, the frequent gigs at Peanuts, Bishopsgate, in the 1970s for the Mike Osborne Trio, arguably the most exciting of all saxophone-bass-drums units.

If Partikel never reaches Osborne’s level of ferocity and danger, this trio is nonetheless entirely worthy to be mentioned in the same breath. The compositions, well-turned yet loose-limbed, spool out into airy, mercurial improvisations. Ford’s limber, inventive patterns, Luthert’s propulsive yet flexible bass licks and Eagles’s hard-edged lyricism constitute a highly satisfying album.

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Barry Witherden