Live recording of a quartet led by leading UK saxophonist/clarinettist Chris Biscoe and featuring Tony Kofi on alto and tenor saxophone. The group was formed to explore innovations brought to jazz by Eric Dolphy, a remarkable virtuoso who combined many of the virtues of bebop and earlier jazz forms with an open-mindedness matched by few other musicians.
On 'Live at Campus West' recorded at a club gig for Hertford Jazz in 2011 you can hear three tunes ("Les", "Out to Lunch", "Potsa Lotsa") which are also on the studio CD 'Gone in the Air'. These versions are longer and more varied in texture, reflecting the experience of working together and the freedom that comes with live performance. The repertoire draws on Eric Dolphy's own compositions, a selection of pieces drawn from his recordings with other bandleaders (Oliver Nelson, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane), and tunes such as "Jitterbug Waltz" that reflect Dolphy's Catholic tastes.
Chris Biscoe has been a key figure on the London jazz scene for many years working with the likes of Mike Westbrook, Barry Guy, The Brotherhood of Breath, Grand Union, Keith Tippett, George Russell, Andy Sheppard, Hermeto Pascoal and many others.
Personnel: Chris Biscoe (alto saxophone, alto clarinet), Tony Kofi (alto and tenor saxophone), Larry Bartley (double bass), Stu Butterfield (drums)
"Saxophonist and clarinettist Chris Biscoe has been on the British scene for a long time, but he's made the territory between postbop and free-jazz entirely his own, and his sophisticated tributes to the jazz giants are always distinctive." - The Guardian
(5 stars) They form a cohesive, highly energised unit, but allow themselves ample freedom to explore the material...Lengthy investigations of Monk's Epistrophy and Dolphy's Out To Lunch and Potsa Lotsa are among the highlights of the set. --The Scotland On Sunday, (Alison Kerr), March 11, 2013
(4 stars) The two leads fit neatly together, spark off each other and play without fear...this is one of the few albums to really get into the essence of the Dolphy aesthetic. --Jazzwise, (Mike Hobart), April 2013
The front line of Chris Biscoe and Tony Kofi is one of the best UK sax pairings in this kind of repertoire - reworking it with character, skill and a breezy fearlessness, much assisted by bassist Larry Bartley and drummer Stu Butterfield. All four grab the music by the collar from the off. --The Guardian, (John Fordham), April 5, 2013
Biscoe must be one of the most underrated figures in UK jazz, his unassuming, learned demeanour belying a soloist of passionate (and unfailingly inventive) intensity...documents a first-rate performance from a polished but wonderfully vibrant band. --LondonJazzNews, (Chris Parker), March 22, 2013
Biscoe and Kofi may grab the lion's share of the spotlight, but their success is due in no small part to bassist Larry Bartley and drummer Stu Butterfield's sterling rhythm section playing. The four men thrive on each other's energy, respecting the compositions while investing them with terrific verve and enthusiasm. The result is a fiery display of musical skill, dynamics and almost telepathic understanding between the players. --All About Jazz, (Bruce Lindsay), March 29, 2013