Review of Tim Watson These Mist Covered Mountains by Melanie Henry

By 11th January 2016Reviews

This CD is an excellent mix of brand new pieces contrasted with two popular pieces from the saxophone repertoire. Throughout the CD the communication between musicians is outstanding, giving the listener tight slick ensemble playing, rhythmic panache and glorious phrasing. The accuracy and detail is very well observed and the enjoyment, understanding and personality shine through.

Pastoral by Elliott Carter (a rarely recorded piece of standard rep) is sensitively portrayed in the lyrical sections, contrasted with the fun and humour of the giocoso sections.

Brainstorm, a composition by Tim, is very effective. It uses a whole battery of extended techniques, which are well executed. The music is programmatic and is easy to understand.

Crazy Diamonds Shining, by Peter Meechan, demonstrates the players’ stunning virtuosity as well as their ability to develop melodic lines. The music is dramatic, percussive and often aggressive, and requires excellent interaction and communication.

Sea Shift by Robin Dewhurst is much more commercial and is relaxing to listen to. Empathy to stylistic phrasing and understanding of the genre is great.

In the ever popular Fuzzy Bird Sonata by Takashi Yoshimatsu, the players really let go and deliver a performance that is fun and virtuosic. This is a technical tour de force.

The final piece, These Mist Covered Mountains, is sparse, bleak and beautiful. The players tackle this with great sympathy and control. It is mesmerising and hypnotic.

Strongly recommended.