Plastic Sun

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Catalog No: QTZ2070
Artists: James Allsopp
Composers: James Allsopp

James Allsopp critically acclaimed saxophonist, received the BBC Jazz Award for innovation in 2008 and the Ronnie Scott Jazz Award for Best Newcomer. Plastic Sun his debut album for Quartz is a highly innovative improvisation album.

Solo playing is hugely daunting. As a fan of British improvised music I am well aware of the how high the bar has been set in this medium by the likes of Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, John Butcher and Paul Dunmall, to name but a few of my favourites.

Although I cannot pretend to have added anything to the medium, I hope that I have made something that reflects my tastes, techniques and a desire to create from them a lyrical whole which takes the listener on a journey.

To improvise something that makes sense and holds the listener’s attention is an enormous challenge. How successful I have been is entirely up to the taste of the listener. I hope you enjoy the album.

James Allsopp

Courage! Surely the most important of all the musical species. Do not all beautiful things stem from courage and the will to conquer ones fears? Philippe Petit took this to extremes as he performed on the high wire between the Twin Towers, but in James Allsopp’s solo tenor saxophone album Plastic Sun, James performs his own high wire act. For there is nothing more exposed, more courageous than the solo unaccompanied musical wire that unwinds from the fingers of an improviser.

As I put it on, I felt like I was perched on the front cart of a tenor saxophone big dipper which was about to set off on its run into the pitch darkness of night: a mixture of excitement but mostly fear. So the journey begins, and I am swept along by the enchantment of a line that wanders freely and unexpectedly like the insatiable and incessant desires of a true explorer. It searches in each corner, reacts and curves into an ever, endless combination of shapes. Like watching Hockney draw, James conjures up images and teases with emotional nuances before diving headfirst into unexpected plunging forays each gesture precise and delicate and full of intent.

I love it! I love the unexpected beauty of it all. I love the way that you want to go with him on that unexplored journey. I love where the line goes, the places that it visits, the areas that it breezes through or those where it stays and has a cuppa.

With James as the Pied Piper, you feel every bump and wind in the road; you feel where the road disappears and where you are left weightless. You feel the intimate beauty of discovery and the poetry and the beguiling nature of an extremely gifted snake charmer.

Brian Irvine

    James Allsopp
  1. The Wooden Moon
  2. Mouse Practice
  3. Plastic Sun
  4. Goose Creature