Psychonavigation is a trip and a half. Pete Namlook and Bill Laswell have created a set of sonic hallucinogens that permeate the psyche. These sequences and atmospheres are full of experimental sounds, strange samples, and overt space music riffs. There is nothing earthly about this music. The atmospheres are inhuman. The evocations are metallic and robotic. The flow, however, is smooth and fluid. Namlook and Laswell are visiting the ultimate oxymoron – fluid metal. The answers are as mysterious as quicksilver itself. This is one of the best Namlook/Laswell collaborations. It will appeal to fans of Amani, Tales, and Dweller at the Threshold. It is essential space music.
I had assumed that these recordings fit into the category of “he plays well under the circumstances.” Forget the qualifiers. Listening to this set and the previously released The Last Waltz is a bit like sharing the experience of the wild-eyed poet who has returned from feasting on the milk of paradise in Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan.” After tasting such nectar, nothing henceforward can satisfy the palette. So if the two sets (16 discs) comprising Evans’ last stand seem extravagant in quantity and price, consider the possibility that they represent the musical equivalent of Keats’ Grecian Urn, offering “all ye know and need to know.”
Reissue with latest 2014 remastering. Comes with liner notes. This rare set features the cool-toned clarinetist Tony Scott with a big band on five numbers, heading a ten-piece band for three others and jamming with a quartet that also features the young pianist Bill Evans on the four remaining songs. The songs range from swing standards and the tongue-in-cheek "Rock Me But Don't Roll Me" to "Aeolian Drinking Song" and an original titled "Vanilla Frosting On A Beef Pie." Musically, the performances are pretty modern for the period while never failing to swing. This LP is well worth searching for, as are most of Tony Scott's recordings of the 1950s.
As a unit, this must be one of the best piano trios ever, and certainly as instantly recognisable as any of its great predecessors. Charlap’s touch on the keyboard is light, almost stealthy, even when playing full chords, but always firm, clear and beautifully articulated. With the spirited support of bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington (famously unrelated), the total effect is just perfect. As always, Charlap’s playing provides convincing proof that it is still possible to create fresh but pertinent treatments of well-known standard songs. The son of a songwriter and a singer, he has an instinctive feel for the idiom. His versions here of I’ll Remember April and A Sleepin’ Bee are masterly.