The return of Free Range
1st October 2015
The autumn 2015 season of Free Range started with a bang. Well, it started with about ten of the ZONE poetry collective poets simultaneously reading, with increasing volume, while randomly wandering around the cafe (this began very suddenly with no introduction), soon joined by David Leahy of Slap(dash) doing improvised dance in and around the poets, then joining Sam Bailey (playing chaotic piano, harmonium and bells) on double bass. It ended almost as suddenly as it began.
And then Sam introduced the remarkable duo of Paul Dunmall (tenor sax) and Tony Bianco (drums). They played a 45 minute onslaught set, inspired by late-period Coltrane (when he was just playing with Rashied Ali on drums, on ultra-challenging albums like Interstellar Space). They borrowed a few heads from Coltrane (I recognised one of the themes from A Love Supreme, and "My Favorite Things" got referenced towards the end. Full-on amazingness, which appears to have been recorded, so I'll post a link eventually if that surfaces on the FR audio archive. Despite drumming furiously for the best part of an hour, Bianco hardly broke a sweat. They seemed like very pleasant, humble blokes, despite being global jazz legends. And this was a FREE event in a supposedly sleep cathedral town. Next week we get to hear Iain Sinclair reading!
I spoke to Juliet and her friend Johnny afterwards, who'd spent the afternoon writing the first song for their new "Haitian VoodooFolkJazz Blues" project, which reminded me of the wonderful Toto Bissainthe, check this out: