Dean, Elton and Mark Hewins - Bar Torque

Year of Release: 2002
Label: MoonJune Records
Catalog Number: MJUN1
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:30:00

Elton Dean (saxello, alto sax) has been traveling around the musical block since the sixties. This great band leader and session musician has contributed to several groups during the last four decades. He has played in Bluesology with Long John Baldry, Keith Tippett, Centipede, Ark, Soft Machine, London Jazz Composers Orchestra, Alan Skidmore's El Skid, Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, Carla Bley, Just Us, and Ninesense. It's easy to see the exceedingly diverse array of musicians he has performed with and how important his work has been to so many people. Mark Hewins (synth guitar, acoustic guitar) has played with Goddess T., Hugh Hopper, Paul Rogers, Lol Coxhill, Dennis Gonzalez, and Lou Reed. He has an impressive background as well.

Bar Torque is an interesting recorded work, to say the least. It was recorded live at the London Jazz Cafe in November 1992. The sound is better than average for a live recording. There are three tracks offered (over fifty one minutes of music), and they are very extensive and filled with music and sounds that you probably have never encountered while listening to music before. The opening track is nearly twenty five minutes long. This CD encompasses smooth, improvisational, new age, and experimental jazz fusion along with synthesized guitars that make sounds like flocks of birds chirping. While I was listening I just knew it was a synthesizer being used as a compliment to Dean's sax, well, I was totally fooled. I was beside myself when I read the credits and liner notes. Hewins uses guitar harmonics to mask the actual natural sound of a guitar and he coaxes so many odd and different sounds and effects from his six-string you will be dumbfounded. It was a real trip to listen first and then find out how this album was made.

If you enjoy off color jazz improvisation and would like to hear something entirely unique and original, I highly recommend this album. After all, how often is it that you find those kinds of qualities in any music today?

Bar Torque (24:46) / Sylvan (13:24) / Merilyn's Cave (14:20)

Elton Dean -saxello, alto sax
Mark Hewins - synth guitar, acoustic guitar


Bar-Torque (2002)

Genre: Jazz/Trad. Jazz

Origin UK

Added: February 23rd 2002
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck

Artist website:
Hits: 838
Language: english


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