Monday, April 23, 2018

Azimuth - 1978 - The Touchstone

The Touchstone

01. Eulogy 10:22
02. Silver 6:27
03. Mayday 5:27
04. Jero 6:18
05. Prelude 5:34
06. See 10:45

Piano, Organ – John Taylor
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Kenny Wheeler
Voice – Norma Winstone

Recorded June 1978 at Talent Studio, Oslo

Azimuth’s second ECM effort is also the group’s most enigmatic. The organ that underlies “Eulogy” gives just enough air for Wheeler to glide, and injects all that follows with deep, warm breath. The trio writes a more intimate letter in “Silver,” answered in the unsteady penmanship of “Mayday,” over which our soloists take great care to dot every i and cross every t. The distant muted trumpets of “Jero” mesh with Winstone’s ambulatory menageries. Taylor draws a fluid line through their incantations, ignoring the periphery all the way to the end of “Prelude,” a track so lovely that it makes one want to listen to the album backwards. This is an elusive set, to be sure, filled with quiet, seething power, but also one that builds its nests comfortably over our heads. It can only fly, because it knows no other way to travel.

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