Stepping Between The Shadows - Alister Spence/Raymond MacDonald -2012Rufus Records RF095

Alister Spence (Australia): piano/prepared piano
Raymond MacDonald (Scotland): soprano/alto saxophones

This CD brings together two of the finest, most distinctive improvisers in their respective countries, in a wonderfully captivating and unified set of music. At times beautiful, dark, lyrical, textured and surprising, this co-improvisation was recorded live in concert at The Concert Hall, Glasgow University in February 2011 as part of a UK/Europe tour.
The Spence/MacDonald duo stems from a friendship and mutual admiration that has developed over the last 10 years.

2006 the Alister Spence Trio workshopped with the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra in Glasgow. Raymond is a founding member. ‘Premier league of the European improvisation scene’ Süddeutsche Zeitung ‘One of the best large improvising ensembles in the world’ BBC Radio 3, Jazz on 3

2008 Raymond invited Alister and his trio to perform in Tokyo with the ‘International Big Band’, including Satoko Fujii, Jim O’Rourke and many Japanese free improvising luminaries. Buddy, a CD of this performance, was released in 2010 on the Textile label. ‘Music this articulate is rare in any style of music’ Jazz Wise ‘An unqualified success’ The Wire

2009 and 2011 Alister and Raymond toured together in the UK with Joe Williamson (bass), and Tom Bancroft and Christopher Cantillo (drums). ‘Well-defined direction from the get-go’ Glasgow Herald

2011 the Spence/MacDonald duo was formed.

No stranger to European audiences, Raymond MacDonald works with many pioneers in avant-garde music, including pianist Marilyn Crispell,
Fred Frith, drummer Günter ‘Baby’ Sommer, David Byrne, Damo Suzuki, trumpeter Axel Dorner, George Lewis, Evan Parker, Keith Tippett, Barry Guy, the London Improvisers Orchestra, and many others.

‘…one of the most compelling and arresting listens I have had in some time and does much to further establish MacDonald as a leading voice in modern improvisational music’ WNUR Chicago, Pick of the Week.

‘…able to individuate the exact points in which bedlam and presence of mind fuse, allowing the music to reach levels of unexpected intensity enriched by beautifully resonant halos and deliberate melodic reflections’ Touching Extremes

Alister has toured internationally over the last 20 years with bands such as Clarion Fracture Zone, Wanderlust, the Australian Art Orchestra and the Alister Spence Trio, performing at premier festivals, including London Jazz, Vilnius Jazz, North Sea, Montreux Jazz, Crawley, Leverkusener Jazztage, the Tokyo Jazz, Jazz Yatra (India), International Festival de jazz de Montreal, and Vancouver Jazz festivals, and clubs like the Knitting Factory (USA).

‘The cutting edge of modern Australia defined’ Sydney Morning Herald

‘Ingenious themes…Spence is certainly a talent deserving wider recognition’ The Wire, UK

‘Spence has that priceless gift of always leaving you wanting more’ Jazzwise Magazine

The seven improvised tracks occur in the order that they were performed.
Stepping Between The Shadows is a collaborative journey through music towards a distinct and unique collective sound. We hope you enjoy this first leg!

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