British, London-based free improvisers – alto sax player Colin Webster, drummer Andrew Lisle and bassist Otto Willberg, have collaborated in countless meetings and formats and created a scene of their own, often documented by Webster’s own label, Raw Tonk, who also does the artwork for the label releases. But «Scaffolding» is only the second recording of these fine musicians as a trio, following Static Garbled Dreams (Raw Tonk, 2018). The new album was recorded at Snorkel Studios in London in September 2020.
As expected from such long-time comrades, the dynamics of this trio are organic, powerful and intense, from the first second of this recording session to its last one. Willberg played the double bass on «Static Garbled Dreams» but switched to the bass guitar on «Scaffolding». His playing on the bass guitar injects raw and rough, often alien, low-end sonic edges to the dense interplay of the trio and keeps it burning throughout this session. Webster soars high immediately with his sax shouts and cries on the opening, extended free improvisation «Sus» while Lisle’s drumming grounds this restless commotion in unpredictable textural patterns.
The following, shorter «Sup» begins with lighter, almost swinging dynamics, but within this trio uncompromising aesthetics. Willberg electric bass anchors the dense interplay and seduces Webster and Lisle into tight, impossible dance moves, then the trio begins with sonic searches, individually and as a collective but slowly returns to its twisted groove. The short «Ae» concludes this energetic, nervous session and cements the almost telepathic interplay of this trio and the natural manner that this trio ignites and keeps pushing further its dynamics, and obviously, its loose yet strong scaffolding.
Colin Webster (as), Andrew Lisle (dr), Otto Willberg (bg)