Lol Coxhill: Darkly #20
Darkly Again (ICTUS 138)
Composed by Lol Coxhill and Andrea Centazzo.
Recorded: Austria circa 1979/1983
Rating: 94/100 (learn more)
Unlike Evan Parker, a fellow British subject and soprano saxist, Lol Coxhill integrates straight-ahead jazz and rhythm & blues elements into his style, even while maintaining an essential free jazz/improv outlook. In this duo with the drummer Andrea Centazzo, Coxhill is a blowzy extrovert; his style is loosely swinging and blues-inflected. Even though he seldom lands where you'd expect, there's an ever-present reference to a tonal center. Coxhill is the rare soprano experimentalist who seems comfortable with the syntax of both jazz and pop, and it can give his playing a warm, engaging quality. He and Centazzo embark on an energetic, freely-improvised course. Centazzo both colors and ignites with strong free-time rhythms; Coxhill spins long, blowzy lines that for all their earthy appeal are nevertheless profoundly sophisticated.
Calling Coxhill a populist might be stretching things, but this track demonstrates how, compared to other prominent free jazz soprano saxophonists (including Parker and Steve LacyŚwith whom, incidentally, Coxhill recorded the soprano trio album Three Blokes in the late '90s), he has been occasionally inclined to adopt a more accessible approach.
Reviewer: Chris Kelsey