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Jazz Review Saxophonist Laubrock the mother of masters' invention

Ingrid Laubrock Anti-house Four
Cafe Oto, London

THREE remarkable jazz women comprise the majority of this dynamic Brooklyn-based quartet — saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock (pictured), pianist Kris Davis and guitarist Mary Halvorson. Along with drummer Tom Rainey, this is a collective where composition matters, with each musician following the sheet music intensely as they play.

Halvorson's whining guitar notes open the set, echoing a hefty dose of the blues, before the shadowy sounds of Davis's keys join her. Then it's Rainey's turn. With teeming brushes in his left hand, his right hand pounds on his snares aa Laubrock's strident, searing soprano cuts through.

The plucked patterns from Halvorson, discomforting and haunting, uncannily recall “the twang's the thang” of the 1960s hits of pop guitarist Duane Eddy, while Laubrock's tenor saxophone erupts like the volcanic lava of Kilauea cracking through Hawaiian roads, with Rainey's powerhouse drums powerhouse and Davis's stride piano chiming beside her.

Yet from this heavyweight sound, Laubrock's horn introduces a soft and beautiful melody, typical of a quartet full of contrasts and invention, fuelled by powerful and dedicated musicianship.

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