Has It Been Found?
(2019 - Discus Music - UK)
How can such constructionists, deny a value so close to their heart, so akin to their input of concoction and abstract lingo, which speaks their notes so true? A second release by Mick Beck (tenor sax, bassoon, & whistles), and Hunter brothers Anton (guitar) and Johnny (drums). The storyline is as interesting as their music. Their debut was titled 'The Hunt Is On' (2014 - Discus Music), and this second release brings the band to answer, or attempt to answer, that very question of what is being hunted, with a number of possible results. Four extended compositions (following the same line up as their first) explore, and jump in and out of pockets, dart behind doors, walk past stop signs, and often stretch the limits of whatever surroundings are present.
Never falling into the doodling mode, the trio keeps an exceptional focus, being playful and expressive in a highly academic way. The painting for the cover art by Marion Rout (who did their debut cover also) is outstanding, and once again represents the music in a most perfect manner. 'Yes And No' (track 1) has constant interplay among the instruments, representing the patience of a proper answer yet not completely. 'What Is It?' (track 2) includes some 12-tone patterns, a segment of sax, accompanied drum solo, and quite a lot of contemplative intrigue. The music is at once curious and forward. Through the following pieces, the trio has made an effort to continue answering questions, however it is at the same time, posing more. In fact, the listener may very well walk away with no answers at all. But then I suspect the purpose was not to complete such a tremendous undertaking. That could leave out the possibility of a related 3rd album? (hint)
Beck Hunters are a superior impressionism band. The musical portraits they create truly allow the imagination to both stray and focus. The skill to put together works which have such a consummate balance of mystery, anticipation, fearlessness, and restraint, all in an astute formula, well that is special. With a close fitting outfit such as Beck Hunters, the studious projections of whatever their thoughts may be, can be put into musical language that tickles the senses, quizzes the mind, and diverts your attention into bigger regions at any given moment. This is free music with a unique organization that has an appeal, that takes apples and oranges, and makes lemonade.
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 2 - 23 - 2019