STEVE PETERS – The Webster Cycles

(Cold Blue)

Music writers are often in the lucky position of receiving first-class recordings without asking – not only that, also without knowing what to expect from the content of a CD. The latter circumstance is not valid with Cold Blue, though: whenever a release from Jim Fox’s label arrives, a couple of certainties are enclosed in the same package. One, the generally well-over-average artistic quality, not rarely leading to feelings that could be synthesized by the term “beatitude”; two, those sounds becoming part of the surroundings in such a natural way that the temporal segment in which aural events materialize becomes a frame of wholeness where everything, and I mean everything, is in the right place at the right time. What happened in this afternoon of mine while being pervaded by these fumes got me out of the experience enriched, to say the least. Lasting less than 30 minutes, this is a piece that can be performed with “any combination of wind instruments and/or voices”. Peters, who is active in various fields of contemporary arts (including dance, theatre and installations) is here interpreted by J.A.Deane (Jon Hassell, Brian Eno, John Zorn) who layered six tracks of trombone, mostly scored yet with a series of improvisational choices available to the performer. The composer’s dedication of this version to Stuart Dempster is not surprising, as the long-reverberating, mind-calming phrases fathered by Deane bounce from the corners of the listening space in gorgeously shaded combinations, refractions and superimpositions. The overall outcome should be placed among the genre’s best albums in the last five years, a channel-cleaning affair establishing the correct order of priorities in a sensitive human’s life.

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