<< -- 2 -- Rex Harley A MIXED BAG
As for Garland's work on tenor sax, it was reminiscent of Sonny Rollins in the 1980s, but Rollins could always take you by surprise. Garland played with great fluency, and at times fire, particularly when he changed to the soprano, but there was more brio than substance, and not a memorable tune in sight. The closest was his own composition, Bajo del Sol, the one featuring bass clarinet which he played with a natural lyricism.
And what of the leader? He contributed the final number: The Wooden Man Sings and the Stone Woman Dances, which included some imaginative sound-making both on the drum-kit and additional percussion, but there's something oddly academic in his playing. Combined with Hamilton's under-powered contribution, and Lawrence Cottle's over-powered bass, I was left with the frustrated feeling that we'd come close to hearing something good but that, in the end, nothing had quite added up.
Perhaps the main event, Joe Zawinul's Zawinul Syndicate would put that right?
Copyright © 29 May 2004
Rex Harley, Cardiff UK