The latest offering from London’s infamous LOOP Collective, this eponymous debut features an unconventional bass-less trio of pianist Alcyona Mick, Robin Fincker on tenor sax and clarinet and drummer Paul Clarvis. All demonstrate considerable capabilities in the field of loose, open jazz which is experimental yet accessible. Mick’s command of the low registers and occasionally percussive propulsion compensates for the lack of bassist, providing part of a stimulating backdrop for Fincker’s lean, airy tones to trace a weaving path. As if liberated, Clarvis shines in his use of textural variations away from the idea of a steady pulse.
This is ‘free’ jazz, but not in the extreme. Compositional similarities can be made to the likes of Polar Bear, The Blessing and Led Bib – a clear element of free-form collective improvisation is offset by a reticent yet unpredictable sense of control and direction. The balance has been finely cultivated, with track length maintained at a modest five-minute average: none of the solos are over-indulgent or tiring.
Published in London Tourdates, 11/7/08.