Once Azzy King enters on drums, the mood changes and the piece has much more movement. Although the groove is laidback, it feels as though there’s a sense of anticipation for something - and as Rob Milne solos on tenor sax, this feeling increases. It feels as though there is a slow, gradual build from the band - they build and build until suddenly, they all drop out. Milne is left soloing alone, yet each band member begins to add in their own improvisatory ideas. This section of the piece is very experimental, and challenges our expectations as listeners. Many of the ideas feel deliberately disorientating, yet there are repetitions and themes which seem to run throughout; we can hear what sounds like people talking, clapping, birds, and keyboards typing. It’s an interesting commentary that we’d love to hear about from the band themselves.
Finally, Martin Pyne on vibraphone moves the band back into rhythmic, ensemble playing. Raph Clarkson solos on trombone, bringing back the sweetness and warmth of the previous playing. The backings from the brass are higher in voicings, creating a sense of triumph and joy at the end of the piece. The track ends with beautiful muted trumpet playing from Dowding, and a more typical brass band sound. The effect is one of real satisfying closure to an exploratory and varied piece.
holding hands are playing at More Music in Morecambe on Saturday 29 May, 2021 - we hope to see you there!
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