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SOMERSAULTS

«Numerology of Birdsong»
WEST HILL

The title of the second album of Somersaults – the British trio of double bass player Ollie Brice, drummer Mark Sanders and Netherlands-based reeds player Tobias Delius – is inspired by a phrase from a poem by Sean Bonney, This elite trio do exercise its poetic versatility, flying up and down like a group of birdsongs.

Brice and Sanders are long-time collaborators and served as a powerful rhythm section of such reeds player as Paul Dunmall, Evan Parker, Mikolaj Trzaska, Rachel Musson and Ken Vandermark, Both Brice and Sanders agreed that they would like to harness their rhythmic chemistry to Delius, best known as a member of the legendary Dutch collective the ICP, and they were absolutely right. The trio proved to be greater than the sum of its parts already on its first performance.

The trio released its debut, self-titled album on the Two Rivers label on 2015. «Numerology of Birdsong» was recorded in June 2018 at Iklectik Art Lab, London, and is released on Brice’s newly-founded West Hill Records label. There are strong senses of joyfulness and organic flow in the five pieces. The rhythm section of Brice and Sanders allows Delius to rely on pure instinct and intuition, knowing that any idea of him will be enveloped immediately with fitting rhythmic pattern. But there’s more to that in the interplay of Somersaults as the opening piece, «Seek stillness in movement», demonstrates. This trio never surrender to one mode of operation, always searching and taking risks, expanding its timbral and textural imagination, but never abandon the propulsive pulse and the soulfulness of the music. The title-piece suggests a nuanced and multilayered drama, explored in three distinct and parallel narratives, with Delius adding Ethiopian veins to it. «Turdidae» cements the telepathic connection of Brice and Sanders and extends his kind of immediate, fast-shifting interplay to Delius as well on the following «Thisteltuige». The last piece «A probable warbler» channels the integrated power of these resourceful musicians into an uncompromising, highly imaginative flying maneuvers of the art of the moment.

Eyal Hareuveni

Olie Brice (b), Tobias Delius (ts, cl), Mark Sanders (dr)