Tony-Joe BuckLash Review – JAZZWISE August 2012

**** (Excellent)

It’s tempting (and not entirely inaccurate) to call Tony-Joe Bucklash a transcontinental supergroup of 21st century avant garde music. Brits Bevan and Lash, American Morris and Australian Buck are all major players on the world stage, experienced in out-sounds ranging from raucous free-jazz to minimal improv. and touching on points in between. Here, they strap in for a blazing live set (recorded with a slightly cavernous auditorium ambience) that rides the finest of lines between abstraction and all-out swing. Morris’s electric guitar has the kind of brittle, unadorned twang commonly associated with Jazz, which, coupled with the rhythm section’s fragmented, up-tempo bluster, gives the date a super-charged Charlie Christian set as imagined by Pablo Picasso. Morris and Bevan leave plenty of room for each other’s solo spots and when it’s the saxophonist’s turn to take the reins, his gruff tenor feels like a nod to Albert Ayler’s bar-walking days in roadhouse R&B bands. This should be required listening for anyone who thinks improvisation can’t shake its tail feathers.

Daniel Spicer

Available now from Foghorn Records