The bassist from North Wales has a quintet with Laura Jurd on trumpet, Alam Nathoo on tenor, Elliot Galvin on accordion and piano, and Peter Ibbetson. All the compositions are by Williams.
After a gently harmonied brief intro piece called Beryl, with Jurd and Nathoo intertwining their lines, Skardu’s Missing heads off in a circus band direction with Jurd leading the antics while Nathoo, Williams and Ibbetson resolutely try to hold everything together; meanwhile Galvin and ultimately Ibbetson get lured away by Jurd.
There is a really interesting interplay between formality and freedom on this album, showing a clear and distinctive compositional style and band atmosphere created by the leader while he also gives his musicians a lot of room to explore. He often seems to act as the safety net, thereby giving the others the freedom to take greater risks.
Rotten Apple Boughs adds accordion to the horns, running langerous, long-limbed lines of melody with Jurd and Nathoo especially enjoying the timbral mix over a lumpy bed formed by the trio. Mugs ups the riff factor and moves into minimal rock territory.
A striking and original young voice within the creative hotbed that is Chaos Collective.
Categories: CD review