THE TONY WILSON SEXTET – The People Look Like Flowers At Last

Drip Audio

Attractive title for this 2009 item, though my actual opinion is that many people look and smell (*) more and more like the flowers’ primary nourishment instead. The Sextet’s lineup – unvaried since its origin in 1995 – features the leader on guitar and harmonica plus Kevin Elaschuk (trumpet and flugelhorn), Dave Say (sax and flute), Peggy Lee (cello), Paul Blaney (double bass) and Dylan van der Schyff (drums). The CD’s largest lump consists of an intriguing rendition of Benjamin Britten’s “Lachrymae”, whereas the rest comprises compositions by Wilson and a final “variation” on (bluegrass artist) Bill Monroe’s theme “Working On A Building”. The personal predilection, so to speak, goes to the Britten variant, but the entire album displays the same positives and negatives throughout its continuance. The first-class musicianship is a declared value, and the will of experimenting by mingling genres, shapes and rhythms is admirable; on occasion, levels of veritable curiosity were reached as I was thinking about a bargain-priced version of Kenny Wheeler tinted in “cleansed free jazz” propensity. On the other hand, the superimposition of tempos and figurations appears somewhat forced, certain tracks sounding as sterile exercises rather than recalling the vital principles that should ideally qualify the joint act of organizing worthy sounds. All in all, a release barely saved by the players’ expertise, but that does not transmit enough emotions to this writer to avoid an “OK, next CD” mental line.

(*): try and get on an Italian commuter train at rush hour, then tell me if the above affirmation is untrue.

Posted in Uncategorized