Saxophonist Trevor Watts was a leading originator of British (and European) free music, as a founder member of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble in 1966.
His passionate alto playing was heard on the SME’s first album, Challenge and later in his own groups, including Amalgam and Moiré Music. Now approaching his 79th birthday, Trevor performances still retain the finely-tuned, emotionally generous energy that has always been a notable feature of his work.
In his latest venture, he’s joined by violinist Alison Blunt, cellist Hannah Marshall and long-time musical partner, pianist Veryan Weston as they showcase their collective debut, Dialogues with Strings.
Their music is densely woven, sometimes hectic, but always motivated by a sense of urgency from four musicians playing together as unit for the first time. It isn’t the heavy-metal variety of free jazz; there are passages of wonderful delicacy, but the overall impression throughout the album’s three pieces is one of a powerful momentum that continues to surge even through the occasional silences. It’s full of the kind of magic that the best free improvisers can conjure when they work together in the right environment.