PRJ041 - West Hill Blast Quartet Live at Cafe Oto
- Live at Cafe Oto Part 1
- Live at Cafe Oto Part 2
- Live at Cafe Oto Part 3
- Live at Cafe Oto Part 4
- Live at Cafe Oto Part 5
Released: September 2015
Ron Caines: Saxophones, harmonica
Dan Spicer: Trumpet, percussion, various
Gus Garside: Bass
Andy Pyne: Drums
Reviews for Live at Cafe Oto
Jazzwise, December 2015
'Although they draw on the vocabulary of free jazz, these four musicians are only, to varying degrees, free jazz musicians in any purist sense. Between them they have played art rock, No wave, psych-prog and more; Spicer, a journalist for this very magazine, and the force behind the recent Brighton Alternative Jazz Festival, is also a poet. This, perhaps, is their strength: Caines played in Keith Tippett's Arc and Garside has released material on Emanem; Pyne comes from a different tradition, that of leftfield rock, and contributes not only drums but also the DIY label infrastructure that has allowed this disc to surface.
What unites them, on the evidence of this live recording at least, is that each member of the quartet has ingested a large quantity of Albert Ayler, AACM and Ornette Coleman. Clustered around Brighton's Safehouse Collective, not all of these guys are virtuosos, but they sure know how to commit - and their collective voice is quite a thing to behold.'
The Sound Projector, September 2015
'English free jazz is alive and well in the capable hands of West Hill Blast Quartet. We first noted them on the Blast #2 CDR from Andy Pyne’s Foolproof Projects label in 2015. Since then whey have played at London’s Cafe Oto, a document of which is now in our hands. Live At Cafe Oto (PRJ041) once again features the able blowing of vintage player Ron Caines working what sounds like a soprano sax and issuing flexible, shape-shifting lines at tremendous speed. As ever I am struck by how agile and ingenious his lines are, without ever appearing aggressive, overdone, or show-offy. Nor does he do anything to make his tone seem angry or disaffected, for instance the sour snarling of Evan Parker or the hurt growlings of an Archie Shepp. He’s supported in this plan by Dan Spicer, blowing many friendly clouds of joy into the air and here acting as Don Cherry to Ron Caines’ Ornette. Bassist Gus Garside comes to us from Static Memories, and drummer Andy Pyne tirelessly runs this label from Brighton. An energetic and rewarding set. The under-nourished cover art isn’t quite a successful update on Ornette’s seventh LP (Atlantic 1378, 1962), but the spirit is here.'