JIM DENLEY – Through Fire, Crevice + The Hidden Valley


Saxophonist and label owner Jim Denley allowed himself an experience that many would want to share, and many more won’t ever think of even trying. He walked for two weeks in the National Park in the Australian Budawang mountains, alone with his instrument and a recorder, in a perfect man/environment interrelation. No problem with the weather, no second thoughts about any eventual danger. The result is a beautiful album, mixing timbral exploration, chirping birds, insistent rain and causing the customary wish by yours truly of being instantly catapulted in some other place rather than the cheap parody of a nation from where this blathering mouth writes. You know, with the advent of portable digital recorders there is a fair chance for a number of releases to sound alike: water and birds are becoming a trademark stamp in a lot of different settings indeed. But ask yourselves a question: are we happier when hearing this kind of aural art – especially when corroborated by a series of splendid reed emissions which seem to integrate effortlessly with the surrounding nature – or when we happen to listen to the same song all over the places or, worse, to yet another jazz standard, or – gasp – to something like Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”, which is not even good for elevators anymore? Exactly. Then it becomes perfectly understandable why, despite the absence of veritable newness in this release, it’s the fourth time in a few days that I’m spinning it. If one can’t get some silence, this music approximates inner quietness very well. Nice touch by Denley, who shows talent and fine-tuned ears in abundant quantities. And courage, yes.


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