Spirit -

  1. Outside In
  2. Who's Who
  3. Decoy
  4. Episode no. 69
  5. Native Origins
  6. Shadows

There is a companion vinyl with this release of different material The Deep

Decoy are Alexander Hawkins on Hammond Organ, John Edwards on Double Bass and Steve Noble on Percussion. The disturbing, distorted Hammond organ sound is a natural fit for a free jazz combo. With a pedigree including low-cost church pipe organ substitute, novelty instrument (vide Walt Disney’s Blame It On The Samba, part of his 1948 animated film Melody Time, where a Carmen Mirandered Ethel Smith plays a Hammond as it’s blown to bits by ‘toon Aracuan) and jazz cool tool bar none courtesy of Smiths - Jimmy and Dr Lonnie - McGriff, Patton, Young et al, the B3 and Leslie cabinet’s overblown bastard tones one minute toying, the next destroying, were made to play the freedom sound. Ra did it (free jazz funk on Lanquidity, 1978) but the Hammond has been over-looked by the improv community. Which is a surprise as it combines huge tonal potential with visceral attack, speed of articulation and sheer presence and volume that, when geared to a powerhouse drum ‘n bass combo (as here), creates compelling, reality-jarring music. Alexander Hawkins has a pipe organ background (which is the ideal grounding for the Hammond – you can hear his churchy tones during this album’s playout) and exploits the potential of the C3 to the full – pulls out all the stops, in fact. From the interstellar sounds of the opening Outside In and slick be-bopisms of Decoy to some fine spine-juddering scronches interspersed in Shadows. Rhythm team Noble and Edwards never let it rest (of course), interjecting – injecting, imposing, prompting, inspiring, kick-assing and generally motoring along in fine style. It takes great players at the top of their game to play solo and rhythm at one and the same time without compromising either role and Noble and Edwards together are able to effectively lock down a groove while using their own instruments (Noble’s cymbal work, Edwards bowing) to counterpoint Hawkins’ organ’s additive waveform synthesis, almost becoming tone generators themselves, so at times the three fuse in one, augmented, Hammond.

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