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Alexander Hawkins/Elaine Mitchener 4tet - UpRoot

Alexander Hawkins

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I just wanted to post a note about a new release of mine, in a quartet featuring the vocalist/co-leader Elaine Mitchener, bassist Neil Charles, and drummer Stephen Davis...

It's called UpRoot, and is my first release on Intakt - so as you can imagine, it's beautifully produced, and includes liner notes from Brian Morton.

It's mostly a programme of original compositions, although we do visit things by Patty Waters, Archie Shepp, and set a poem by Jeanne Lee. Other texts include verses from Lyn Hejinian and Rumi...

Elaine's a totally wonderful vocalist, with a pretty dizzying array of influences (there have been incredible performances of Cage, Eastman, and Rzewski amongst others in just the last year; she works with movement; has background in gospel and jazz too), and Steve, Neil and I have all recorded together numerous times before...Anyway, please do consider checking it out.

Here's the relevant page on the Intakt website..

For those in the UK, we are launching the album with a performance at Kings Place on 12th January.

Various other dates (UK and mainland Europe) are also confirmed, and to be announced very soon!


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Just to say that I've been lucky enough to have lived with this release for a fortnight or so (thanks Alex) and it's marvellous.

Great playing from the trio and Michener is a revelation (I attended the Cage performance mentioned above and it left me baffled and in wonder, in equal measure). I'm a big Jeanne Lee fan, especially of her work with Hampel and her Conspiracy album, and this group reminds of the depth and soul of some of that music - it doesn't necessarily sound like that music, no horns involved for starters, but has a similar impact. 

Anyone who enjoys a bit of adventure in their listening should enjoy this one.

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It's indeed excellent ... three spins in, it has started to really grow on me. You do have to pay attention, it's intense and at least myself, I can't make too much sense of what Elaine Mitchener does when I'm just having this on in the background ... the Jeanne Lee reference does make sense in lots of ways, I think, although the singing voice is quite different at least to my ears.

With the upcoming Taktlos gig in Zurich, I hope you'll get to do more Intakt projects eventually, Alex! Way to go! :tup:tup:tup


Btw, can't make Brescia, I know that much now ... not sure about Stuttgart yet, but a duo with Surman and free improv could work wonders, I think (saw Surman in trio with Helias and Favre doing free improv, actually right across the road from my new working place - and that was terrific! I think it was Favre who was asked to invite whoever he wished and that was the bill) ... with Sons of Kemet on the bill and Lee Konitz the next night, it would be interesting, but I have a hunch I'll just make it in Zurich this time. Looking forward a lot to that, too!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks to everyone for the continued positivity about this album.

Just a quick note to say that the launch gig is at 8pm this coming Friday - January 12th - at Kings Place, London. Details/tickets here. Would be great to see you!

There are some more reviews of the album here, at the Intakt website...and for those whose 'local' doesn't have it in, do drop me a line - I have some copies I can sell.

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  • 6 months later...

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