(2019 - Northern Contemporary - UK)
Just as I was coming back down from a very nice cloud, from listening to BECK HUNTERS 'Has It Been Found' (Discus Music - 2019), I get this jewel from a trio that includes the drummer of that band, Johnny Hunter. Now a new trio involving pianist Adam Fairhall and Seth Bennett (double bass), this is stunning and impossible to ignore.
Hunter started the group in late 2013. The three members sought to blend improvisation and composed works in a new method. So a 'fragment' may happen somewhere within a spontaneous improv, then spinning off into a new idea from there. And vice versa. On this debut from Fragments, only 3 extended tracks exist, however what occurs is multiple pieces revolving from one, sometimes more, and then circling back for more. The possibilities are endless and thus, the genius of the concept.
With the same precise inventive efficient strengths in BECK HUNTERS, but even further stretching with massively skilled piano master Fairhall (reminds me of a hyper combo of Keith Tippett and Keith Jarrett), a relentless bassist (Bennett), and an encyclopedic compass (the drumming of Hunter), Fragments show pure evidence of a dominion in broad stroke brilliance. Never have I heard the most perfect chemistry and interplay, exorcism of musical extension, time and space, in such tireless united buffet, as this.
This trio have a repertoire the size of Mt Saint Helens, and simply from the complete methods motivating, and muscular musical skills these guys possess, the results are amazing. Johnny Hunter struck gold. He had an enterprising idea, found two cohorts that agreed and could make it happen in a huge way. Hats off to Fragments on this magnificent recording that transcends all expectations. Invigorating free jazz with structure and no impediments, guilt, or burdens. Only buoyant, bold, and elevated spotless creations. Brainfood for the weary, lustful excellence for those who gave up on improvisation, and massive rewards for the few who will buy, sit and listen alone, without a cell phone or device in the same room.
Such an ample offering of prolific jazz, I consider this essential, and anyone who knows even a little about me, understands I am old enough to own and have heard more recordings than can fit in one large house - wall to wall in every room, all 3 levels. A HUGE RECOMMENDATION.
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 4 - 13 - 2019