ELTON DEAN — The Cheque Is in the Mail

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ELTON DEAN - The Cheque Is in the Mail cover
3.02 | 3 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1977

Tracklist

A1 In Spite Of It 2:30
A2 Steps 3:50
A3 First Team 3:40
A4 Ragadagger 4:05
A5 To The Sun 8:10
B1 Off Your Beaver 3:22
B2 Appropo 7:00
B3 Fragment Of Memory 2:15
B4 No Bounds 4:18
B5 Time Test 3:12

Line-up/Musicians

Alto Saxophone, Saxello – Elton Dean
Synthesizer, Drums, Percussion – Joe Gallivan
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Kenny Wheeler

About this release

Ogun – OG 610(UK)

Recorded in London, February 1977

Thanks to snobb for the addition

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ELTON DEAN THE CHEQUE IS IN THE MAIL reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

snobb
The year is 1977 and synthesizer still isn't a every band's (boring) toy as a decade or two after. There are two kind of jazz albums incl. synthesizer coming from seventies - rare very creative,almost unique works combining new sounds possibilities with improvisation in a true jazz tradition key and others - where musicians are openly fascinated by their expensive toys and enjoy their possibilities more than care about the music they produce.

"The Cheque Is In The Mail" unfortunately belongs to the second category. Two of leading British scene's reeds players saxist Elton Dean and trumpeter Kenny Wheeler are part of the trio with American drummer/percussionist and keyboardist Joe Gallivan. Dean has already released few suite successful albums as leader (demonstrating very own combination of avant-garde jazz and tuneful, even sentimental rock-songs influenced composition). His solo career is radically different from the music known from his previous band - Soft Machine. Gallivan was a Soft Machine member too (he replaced Robert Wyatt in a band), but as Dean is obviously attracted by free jazz here.

Unfortunately, nothing works properly on trio's album. Credited to Dean as leader, "The Cheque..." is in fact an evidence of how much Gallivan enjoys his synthesizer. Playing extremely free (or better to say - demonstrating the possibilities of his expensive toy in a form of free improvs) on whole album, Gallivan doesn't care much that both reeds players can't find the way how to play and most of time just add some minimalist solos here and there without even expecting of having a chance for true musical collaboration.

Nothing happens till the very end - ten-songs album stays in reality a bag of bulky unrelated sounds. Probably at the time of release it has some special attractiveness containing those spacey early analogue synths' sounds, but from distance of time it doesn't sound attractive anymore. Obvious collectors item, hardly more.

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