Blaise Siwula Live In London
Dec 9th 2008 at Jazz Rumours - Cross Kings
Dec17th 2008 at FlimFlam - Ryan’s.
Blaise Siwula solo tenor sax and solo clarinet
The last track is a duet Blaise Siwula tenor sax and Alan Wilkinson bari sax.
These shows book ended a quick tour in Portugal (Lisbon & Porto)
I arrived in London on Dec 9th did the first show. On Dec. 10th Barbara and I flew to Lisbon.
Then we returned to London on Dec. 17th did the second show and flew home on the 18th.
These tracks were all spontaneously composed pieces before a warm audience of local musicians and enthusiasts.
This cd is the first release for NoFrillsMusic.com and I hope more to follow soon.
This is a blogspot review from Clifford Allen August 16th 2011
Saxophonist and clarinetist Blaise Siwula is an acolyte of the fire-and-brimstone school of reed playing, abstracted to the sonic sources that have welled up over the years in musicians like Albert Ayler, Peter Brötzmann, and Shoji Ukaji. Live in London is just that, a series of eight solo tenor and clarinet pieces recorded in December 2008 on a visit to England, along with one duet featuring Alan Wilkinson on baritone saxophone. As much as Siwula pulls from the sandblasted reaches of energy music – and the closing “Time’s Up” with Wilkinson is a joyous shout of hard-bitten, screaming multiphonics and wind shear reminiscent of messengers McPhee and Gustafsson – there’s a lot of variability in his playing. “Stutter’s Waltz” is a three-minute slice of whittled resonance that plays a tense game with the possibility of breaking off into whoops and hollers, yet far exceeds any sense of “exercise.” The connection with McPhee isn’t too implausible, although perhaps Siwula is a little more interested in garishness in his wide-vibrato, wall-shaking preach. That’s notable with “On the Plains of Brooklyn,” which calls up both Rust Belt river silt and the music of the Scottish highlands, somehow mincing a penny-whistle with blustery tenor skronk. It’s a lot to fit into a short piece, but Siwula does it.
“Old Friends” takes a well-worn melodic fragment and ramps up the swagger into athletic curls, blats and paint-peeling sharp masses, though at the piece’s center is an awareness of the instrument’s stately history even as the saxophonist tears through it with winking abandon. Lest one forget Siwula has worked with melody hounds like pianist Nobu Stowe and guitarist Dom Minasi, “Time One Down” is an approximation of a pre-bop chestnut, sweetly closing the disc’s first third. Although that first third is also a bit more lo-fi, the music isn’t harmed, and the following thirty-minutes recorded at Ryan’s FlimFlam grants longer pieces (including the aforementioned duet) that, while mostly not as hell-bent, nevertheless provide a window into Siwula’s quick wit, massive tone, and love for his forebears. “Ryan’s Shuffle” is a fine example of this fact, toying with and building on some arcane melody much as a free mid-60s Rollins, albeit with a little of the non-idiomatic sandblasting school thrown in. Even when he’s taking it the distance, Siwula knows how to bring the music home to an almost hokey-sounding prewar vibe before stretching into high-pitched screams. If you really want a slice of Blaise Siwula’s world, Live in London comes highly recommended.
Grego Applegate Edwards - Gapplegate Music Review
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Blaise Siwula, Solo Tenor Sax, "Live in London"
How many solo saxophone records have I heard? A good many. Are they all wonderful? No. If the player is not imspired or comes to the date unprepared, it can be slow going for the listener. Happily that is not the case with Blaise Siwula's Live in London (No Frills Music 001).
It's from two separate live appearances in 2008. He switches to clarinet on one track and Alan Wilkinson joins him on the baritone for the final number.
What I find excellent is how Blaise creates differing spontaneous compositions (free playing, if you like) by concentrating on the rich possibilities that the tenor offers. Siwula channels the big, timbrally complex sound worlds. Like Ayler and the Texas tenors, Blaise Siwula gets a sound that has wide expressive impact. Yet he doesn't really sound like those players because he has worked through his own take on the sounds.
It's free saxology from the nether regions of the land of Wail. And it's about as good an example as I've heard in a few years. Just as Blaise and Alan Wilkerson go out with a madcap flourish on the final number, you should do the same. Go out and get this--or Google Blaise and find a way to order it. But don't expect toe tapping. Do expect to set your MIND tapping.
Grego Applegate Edwards
July 09, 2011
Dick Metcalf - ZZaj Productions
Blaise Siwula – LIVE IN LONDON: You must be a dedicated improv fan to completely enjoy what Blaise is doing here. His solo tenor sax work is both penetrating and forward moving! “On The Plains of Brooklyn” will grab your ears and hold on to them for the entire 4:07. “Transparent Dialogue” uses little “punctuation marks” to guide you through the conversation. Those of us who are able to let ourselves go & get immersed in the moment will understand what’s being said immediately. I’ve heard other players like Jack Wright and Jeffrey Morgan perform such antics many times, but Blaise manages to captivate your mind even though it’s a recording. This is a great performance that gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me (especially for listeners who can’t do without some freestyle), with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.96. Get more information at www.blaisesiwula.com Rotcod Zzaj
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