Tom Skinner - Voices of Bishara Live at "mu"

Format: 2LP
Availability: In stock

Limited Edition Deluxe Vinyl Double LP. Two 140gram black vinyl LPs (pressed by Pallas in Germany, with lacquers cut by Daniel K at SST) inside a heavyweight, screen-printed jacket (art by Paul Camo), with insert sheet and dome-patterned inner-sleeves. Hand-numbered; only 1200 in existence.

In January 2023, Tom Skinner and his ensemble performed material from his recently released album Voices of Bishara at London club “mu”— a venue founded by the curators at Brilliant Corners and named after the seminal Don Cherry live album. The set was augmented by a rendition of Tony Williams’ “Red” and three pieces by Abdul Wadud, whose 1977 self-released solo cello album, By Myself, was a primary inspiration for Voices of Bishara.

The soloists featured on the album — Shabaka Hutchings and Nubya Garcia— are replaced in Skinner's live ensemble with saxophonist Robert Stillman (who also plays with Skinner in The Smile) and saxophonist / flutist Chelsea Carmichael. The extended rhythm section of Tom Herbert (double bass) and Kareem Dayes (cello) round out the lineup, with Skinner on drums. It’s clear from the jump that this band’s aim is to excavate the deep corners of this material, kicking the set off with a 15-minute rendition of Skinner’s own composition “Bishara” that employs the same relationship to rhythmic and tonal freedom found in the Abdul Wadud cello work that inspired it. That aesthetic connection is even more clear by the time the group moves into their 20-minute exploration of Waded’s “Oasis,” the stunning centerpiece of the set.

Hearing Skinner’s compositions - flexed and stretched with extended improvisation, and in context with works by Wadud and Williams - both places them and this band firmly in the creative music continuum they honor, and provides us with an unobstructed view of where that continuum is leading us.

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