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The Oxford-based pianist’s latest set veers from angular abstractions to Dylan Bates’ violin lilting chirpily through the minor cadences of “Advice”.
The title track has a syncopated bounce, a third stream vibe and bass clarinetist Shabaka Hutchings at his most trenchant; “Forgiven Only Words Once” is brief, bleak and sticks in the mind; and “Assemble/Melancholy” starts as romp, ends as a dirge and includes a minute’s silence.
Hawkins marshals his sextet with strong original structures and nifty piano, while the ensemble work is top-notch.
Alexander Hawkins Ensemble
Step Wide, Step Deep