A heartfelt mix of structure and freedom, control and abandon saxophonist Rachel Mussons long-awaited first release. Skein is the brainchild of saxophonist Rachel Musson, the first release under her own name. With a background playing in groups led by drummer Sebastian Rochford (she was a member of the first incarnation of Polar Bear) and avant-saxophonist/composer Caroline Kraabel (the 20-strong, Buffalo Boot-wearing Mass Producers), as well as having recorded alongside the likes of Steve Buckley and NYC-based Federico Ughi (Ughi: The Space Within), Rachel leads a stellar group including acclaimed pianist Alcyona and improv drummer Javier Carmona through 10 original compositions and a one-track homage to her Welsh roots. Both the compositions and Rachels playing have a strong melodic sense reminiscent of the Loose Tubes-era musicians, enlivened by two drummers (Madrid-born free improv percussionist Javier Carmona and the jazzier Josh Morrison) and underpinned by Will Colliers solid bass. Add to this the distinctive pianisms of Alcyona Mick, who effortlessly fuses elements of Monk, Bartok and gamelan music into her own unique style, and Rachels own improvisations revealing a new raw, vocalized edge borne of her increasing improv leanings, and you will hear a band where the unexpected can and does happen, where structure and freedom, control and abandon, do joyfully coexist.
Rachel Mussons Skein - Flight Line