All sorts of jazz, free jazz and improv. Never for money, always for love.
This is the second duo recording of Irish guitarist Mark O'Leary on
Ayler Records, the previous was with Han Bennink, this one with Sunny
Murray, two totally different drummers in terms of style. Murray has
surely more souplesse and is surely less hard-hitting, playing a more
supporting role than Bennink did on "Television". The recording
itself goes back to 2002, during a tour of Ireland. The album consists
of three long tracks, with two short pieces in between. O'Leary has
developed his music in the meantime, but there are some fantastic
moments here. Especially when the spirit of Ayler descends on him.
Ayler was raw, wild, fierce, brutal even at times, tearing down all
the elements in music that could hinder any direct
straight-from-the-heart authenticity, and by doing so, he created a
spiritual sensitivity, ripped to its barest essence. O'Leary and
Murray do that too, to a certain extent, and that's when they are at
their best: when there is an unrelenting drive, as on "Albert", the
first track, together with the last one the best piece on the album.
O'Leary really goes wild here, especially towards the end, sounding
more like McLaughlin in his early period than Ayler, but well, it's
certainly great. "Body Politik" is more jazzy, more gentle, until
halfway, when some distorted guitar brings about a change in the
piece, speeding up the pace, moving more into rapid-fire fusion-like
guitar. '"Spiritualized" is a short acoustic piece, offering a kind of
breathing pauze, before the pièce-the-résistance begins, called
"Axiom", a pieces that starts slowly again, with nice polyrhythmics
from Murray, and gentle, sensitive playing by O'Leary, but then
tension rises, as does the tempo and the speed, with both musicians
going totally giving themselves. So, while the music is not bad, the
format is a little repetitive, and some of O'Leary's phrasing too. As
said, he has grown better since then.
Order our CDs directly using