(Bruce’s Fingers)

Trying to convene words for the countless ramifications of Simon Fell’s music is certainly not an easy task; this is clearly evident listening to the extremely mercurial score of “No.62″ (subtitled “Compilation IV”). Gathering a monstrous mass of top virtuosos, the Leeds University Postgraduate Improvisation Ensemble and the Anglia Sinfonia directed by Paul Jackson, Fell goes deep down the meat with his slicing writing – corroborated by elegance and irony – in about 80 minutes of difficult performance where emphatic approximations, curious orchestral hybrids influenced by Stockhausen and Henry Mancini and swinging unconventional structures are set in motion by their designer’s extraordinary fantasy and executed by “la creme de la creme” of the most gifted improvisers around the house – we’re talking Evan Parker, Clive Bell, Alex Ward, Philipp Wachsmann, Rhodri Davies, and the list goes on and on. This material is a veritable kaleidoscope of intuitions and hommages, with Fell tipping its hat both to “serious” contemporary music and to a more approachable, post-commercial nostalgia; everything’s solidified in a classical sense of mystery and shines with a genuine love for complex orchestration. Simon shows his elegantly dissenting compositional skill seemingly without effort, just like if the responsibilities for the functioning of such a large group were only a secondary concern.

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