Calling signals 08 From Cafe Oto

Purchase digitally:

Frode Gjerstad clarinets and alto
Lol Coxhill soprano
Nick Stephens acoustic bass
Paal Nilssen-Love percussion

1. Communication One 11:28
2. Communication Two 43:02

Recorded 15th December 2008 live at Cafe Oto London
Artwork Fay Stephens

Loose Torque LT018 Category

This is the fifth incarnation of Calling Signals. Previous members have been Paul Rutherford, Terje Isungset, Louis Moholo, Hasse Poulsen, TonyMarsh and Eivin One Pedersen. Besides the 1996 recording on Loose Torque, there are two recordings available from FMR.
The guest musician in the 2008 version of the group is a man whose shirts often match his looping, colourful style. Gentleman geezer, ‘The Bald Soprano’ the inimitable Lol Coxhill. I’ve played in many different situations with Lol, from John Steven’s big bands to a New Orleans style trio with Roger Turner, from Mike Cooper’s Hawaiian group to Lol’s own Before My Time and it’s always been a pleasure listening to him negotiate his own unique path through any music that he’s involved with – and I’ve seen the old TV clip of him playing tenor sax on ‘Walkin The Dog’ with Rufus Thomas.

While Calling Signals were in Birmingham, we found time to rummage around for a couple of hours in my old haunt, The Diskery, a shop that still specialises in Vinyl. I struck lucky with a recording of Jazz Reunion with Pee Wee Russell and Coleman Hawkins. Lol was quite envious, until he remembered that he probably had it lurking somewhere in his collection. I have always thought that there is something of Pee Wee in Lol’s playing, the suprises, the wit and the nod to tradition, but he remains the one and only…Nick Stephens

A massively enjoyable set – for which don’t read ‘lightweight’. Radical trad. Philip Clark – The Wire

The music is closer to free improvisation than to real free jazz, avoiding anything close to repetitive patterns in rhythm and melody, but focusing completely on the sound interaction between the musicians. The end result is can be expected by such seasoned artists : clashes of ideas bouncing around, sometimes harsh, sometimes remarkably gentle, full of in-the-moment intensity and drive. Spread over two pieces, one eleven minutes, the other fourty-three, you’re part of a musical universe of a strange intensity, little notes, fierce intensity, rapid-fire percussion, raw intensity, gut-piercing bowing sounds, birds dialoguing, howling tones, sweet tones, dense intensity, plaintive tones, physical intensity, squeezing distress out of horns, hitting anger out of anything, pulling warmth out of strings, drama, emotion, just music, unbound. Stef-Free Jazz

… evolves with the brevity of a multi-episode, TV mini series. Ken Waxman – Jazz Word

L’année dernière, Lol Coxhill au soprano et Paal Nilssen-Love à la batterie prenaient à leur tour place aux côtés de Stephens et Gjerstad. En guise d’échauffement, onze minutes d’une déconstruction concentrée et toujours intense sur laquelle Stephens incite de ses graves le soprano, l’alto ou la clarinette basse, à en découdre.
Pendant près de trois quarts d’heure, le quartette met ensuite en lumière une clarinette hallucinée puis les tensions du duo Stephens / Nilssen-Love. Au soprano, Gjerstad profite alors d’une allure renforcée pour confectionner en autiste des guirlandes d’oiseaux querelleurs qu’il abandonnera pour rejoindre Coxhill et apposer avec lui des notes que l’un et l’autre voudront plus longues, comme pour panser les séquelles de leur collaboration effervescente au sein de ce Calling Signals là (08), à la hauteur des incarnations à l’avoir précédé.
Guillaume Belhomme © Le son du grisli

The reed duo reaches several peaks of invention through safety-jeopardizing intersections that systematically repay the inquisitive listener’s longing for mettlesome improvisational consanguinity. Stephens applies uncompromising rewordings during concentrated low-frequency surveillances on the proceedings, Nilssen-Love fights the imprisonment of a groove and the obviousness of swing with his entire forces. The quieter sections are even richer in aurally gratifying reflections and top-quality reciprocation of imaginative intents. Massimo Ricci – Touching Extremes
See full review at