Well, that thing about “being in fashion” might be pushing it a bit or even not that welcome given how faddy mini-trends can be but Joel Ross on his recent album KingMaker is certainly doing his best. Ross to me is a Steve Nelson in approach.
What I am however missing is the sort of blissed out touch Bobby Hutcherson brought to us on an album like San Francisco back in the 1970s. On this side of the Atlantic a player like Lewis Wright of Empirical has a similar approach to Ross but he fits in within the group sound more rather than as the lead instrument which to be frank I think is best for vibes, to colour the instrumentation rather than define it. So let’s not get too carried away but remembering that KingMaker ups Ross’ profile no end and the vibes have a little mini-moment.
A seven part mix of field recordings, samples from cassettes, turntable scratching and live processing of Evan Parker saxophone recordings collective personnel are: Evan Parker, soprano saxophone; Matthew Wright, turntable, live sampling; Adam Linson, double bass, electronics; John Coxon, turntable, electronics; Ashley Wales, electronics. Think of the tracks so far as somehow conjuring a 21st century Turner electroacoustic seascape in a void far from home, all sense of reality upended in the churning turbulence of dreams.