Mark Hanslip & Andrew Cheetham: String And Grid

Despite its free-improv premise, the Manchester duo maintains some coherence, including what seems to be a reference to Sonny Rollins


In the briefly worded press release issued with this CD we are told “It’s simply about the playing, nothing more and nothing less.” That to a degree sums up this duo’s approach to the free-improv world.

Theirs is a no-nonsense approach to the improvisational process. The saxophonist, mainly staying within the natural range of his instrument, evokes a strange connection to the work of Sonny Rollins, despite his chosen mode of expression.

Drummer Cheetham is clearly at home with his partner, delivering a constantly changing background encompassing the complete kit but rarely choosing to concoct strange or ugly options.

The music does carry a certain coherence this particular strain of jazz often lacks and whilst it is never going to convert the army of non-believers, those with an ear for such sounds will find much to satisfy in the twosome’s commitment.

A final word should go to Martin Archer at Discus Music for his unerring belief in the talented musicians he continues to support and record.

Recursive Nest; A Little Pine; Cod Necessity; Voisines (39.57)
Hanslip (ts); Cheetham (d). Manchester, August 2017.
Discus 141CD