Known for his work in the world of improvisation – especially in notable collaborations with Clive Bell and Sylvia Hallett – Mike Adcock is also the owner of a complementary artistic personality, a universe where straightforward compositional frames and the innocence of a melodic line are gifted with the same dignity, if not superior, to the thousands of notes without a previous thought defining the large part of free music. In The Case Of Darkness contains scores specifically created for a small ensemble (the orchestration comprises piano, violin, theremin, bass and contrabass clarinets, soprano sax, guitar, cello and percussion). Eleven pieces whose serenity is tangible, instrumental snapshots performed with class and tranquillity by musicians who walk the path with their eyes closed. The influence of Scandinavian folk is probably important here, though I couldn’t say how much of it constitutes the record’s actual basis; consonant openings and clear harmonic transitions appear as a sign of the composer’s will of keeping things concise and profound, not easy tricks to sell an additional dozen of copies. Each instrument depicts visible figurations that, once set in reciprocal interrelation, generate a restrained kind of gladness. Some of the songs vaguely recall Tim Story circa Wheat And Rust (an unsung milestone in the realm of peaceful melancholy), others could be suitable to comment snippets of a movie on the daily joys and hardships of rural life. Everything is played convincingly, no trace of sedatives despite the general sense of peacefulness. To lighten a heavy mood up a bit, this might be just perfect.