10 luglio 2019

Da un concerto al Vortex Jazz Club londinese proviene invece Coffee For Three, offerto l'estate scorsa da Duck Baker in quartetto con Alex Ward, John Edwards e Steve Noble.

Duck Baker made his reputation as a fingerstyle guitarist in the folk, blues, acoustic music world in the 1970s, but has always been interested in jazz, free jazz, and improvised music. Baker worked with the likes of Eugene Chadbourne, Bruce Ackley and John Zorn in the ‘70s, and in the years since with people like Roswell Rudd, Derek Bailey, Michael Moore, and Mark Dresser. Baker formed a trio with clarinetist Alex Ward when he moved to London from San Francisco in 2005, and John Edwards replaced Joe Williamson as bassist when the latter moved to Stockholm in 2010. The trio performs music by such great jazz composers as Herbie Nichols and Thelonious Monk, but the main focus is on Baker’s own jazz writing. When drummer Steve Noble joins to make it a quartet, the emphasis shifts towards free jazz and improvisation.
For listeners who have followed free improvised music in recent years, Baker’s cohorts need less introduction then he does himself. John Edwards is one of the most sought-after bassists on the scene; it would be easier to list important contemporaries he hasn’t worked with than those he has. Alex Ward’s abilities as a clarinetist first attracted attention with Derek Bailey when he was still a teenager, and in many other contexts in the years since, including groups led by Butch Morris, Eugene Chadbourne, and Joe Morris. Like Alex, Steve Noble first attracted attention as a member of Derek Bailey’s Company. He has also worked with the likes of Wadada Leo Smith, Evan Parker, and Lol Coxhill, among others.