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  • Alistair Smith

February Freedom

What follows is my response to some of the ensembles that emerged in this February's Freedom session at the Vortex Jazz Club.


Create - repeat - vary - abandon - create - repeat - vary - abandon - …

Cyclones and Anticyclones - the vortex turns on and against itself, spinning in a paradox of contrary motions


Doodles straight from the moment - the leading edge of the instant

sliding into a stasis

Long threads of tones weave a blanket, held up and over

Tiny points emerge and start to star the scene

They cluster,

peaking through the twilight of fading luminosity

until star studded becomes pointillistic figures in Ivory and gold

Tap Dancing

Speaking with the feet

Gestures roll and mumble, trickle and tumble

Counting the pulses the body can produce

Patterns of skeletal spatterings

Metatarsal scatterings

Tap tempo - mark the time, subdivide and multiply into multifarious permutation

Strings and Things

Taut hair bounces on taut steel

Scrape and slide -

A struggle to rise into a glide

When finally a sweet intensity sings with the breath from an ebony neck

and corporeal curves that shape and amplify

Microtonal dissonance & perfectly pure consonance

Unison drones

Such delicate touches, touching details and such

Breaking the scale - no steps, floors or platforms

From depth to ascent

From the apex until you kiss the floor



Each to their own

In a crowd - meeting, passing each other by -

A hat tip - a conversation - a consensus

Ornamentation of another’s line

Whilst she paints the spaces within your lines

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