Today’s selection will come right to the point, as I’ve got a lot on at the moment (amongst which work on a few texts I hope to feature here in the near future). First of all is a track from a soon-to-be-released first EP from the sound artist Ashley Webb, put out by his own newly-founded record label Lone Pursuits in Bristol, although they have now presented it in advance on both of their Soundcloud pages. Webb makes his music under the moniker My Blue Extremes, while the album, Opaque, concludes with a track entitled “The Time Spent with You.” Last but not least, this one, I find, opens the widest portal to the record as a whole.
A London ensemble which I’ve featured before, the Portico Quartet, recently turned into a trio, the percussionist and Hang-player Keir Vine having left to pursue his own solo projects, while the drummer Duncan Bellamy, the bassist Milo Fitzpatrick, and the saxophonist Jack Wyllie have regrouped under the name Portico; and in anticipation of an LP which will be released next spring, the three posted one of the tracks on their Soundcloud page. With the assistance of the vocalist Jono McCleery, in “Living Fields” they have given quite a new turn to their abstract jazz sound, and if this track offers any indication, the forthcoming album will see them set off in a direction as yet unwandered.
The third of this evening’s tracks is a lovely performance of Ernst Toch’s third Konzert-Etüde for piano by Christian Seibert. This short work dates from 1931, but under this pianist’s capable hands its dissonances and slight syncopes don’t sound dated at all. (The recording was made more than ten years ago, as far I can ascertain, during a concert by Seibert at the Funkhaus in Cologne of several of Toch’s piano works, recently issued as a CD, from which evidently he has selected a few pieces to present on Soundcloud as well.)