Huw V Williams - Bass/compositions
George Crowley - Saxophone
Devin Gray - Drums
Engineered by Ben Lamdin
Mixed by Alex Bonney
Mastered by Peter Beckmann
Artwork by Simon Proffitt
Huw V Williams (Mike De Souza, Improvised Music Agenda) returns with ‘Equidistant Between’, a tongue and cheek reference to Steve Coogan’s inept and self promoting parody television personality Alan Patridge, absurd Brexit negotiation tactics, the ADD rock of Deerhoof and avant metal of Mr Bungle, the genius of Ornette and Monk and the finer points of boiling an egg.
Where Williams set out in 2016 with Hon, a much larger ensemble recording, we are treated to a more intimate and focused trio formation that highlights the excellent playing of some fine Jazz and improvised players; American drummer Devin Gray (Dirigio Rataplan, Tony Malaby) and English Saxophonist George Crowley (Ivo Neame, Brass Mask).
Recorded during a national heat wave (a good omen) in a single session with engineer Ben Lamdin at Fish Factory Studio, London, Williams’ asserts his interest in the space between many notes and clarity, almost diametrically opposed to the spin and ambiguity of the media and daily news. Titles such as: ‘Print Reaction’, ‘Vague Means Vague’ the latter responding to Theresa May once saying “leave means leave” hint at the pathos but also stoic humour of its writer. The records’ themes deftly shift between the mundane and profoundly mundane. ‘Boiling Problems’ focuses its melancholic bowed upright opening dirge to the ever elusive search for the runny yolk.
Anthems appear in the form of, hummable in a caveman sort of way, ‘Retrogressive Shredfest’, a stylistically nodding to contemporary New York Metal Bebop thing, a theme retrograded and stripped down till it becomes an incessant bass riff, Gray’s scattershot drums firing and ferreting through permutations of rhythm, tone and punctuation while Crowley’s sax once at unison and the next moment openly flowing through the cracks of the rhythm section.
A short, sharp, concentrated blast of an album, ‘Equidistant Between’ presents a sonic utopia, beyond the green valleys and smoke, all that might appeal to the fan and musician alike, the verdant and buzzing New York and London scenes adopted homes of the trio and cities that continue to forge new chains of cultural exchange, friendship and creative productivity. But to paraphrase Alan Partridge that’s just the genius of location.