Wingfield Reuter Stavi Sirkis - The Stone House album review

Improv encounters of the profound kind

Wingfield Reuter Stavi Sirkis - The Stone House album artwork

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All improvisation contains a quest for elusive moments of brilliant clarity, where ideas in the head leap fully formed into the world. These four players, well-versed in transforming tangles of discursive strands into dazzling revelations, came together without any rehearsals or preamble, plugged in and took off.

The resulting melange of rock-orientated grooves and languid drifts through spacey ambience is breathtakingly confident. With so much complimentary overlapping content and tuned-in acuity, you’d never guess that these six pieces were wholly improvised. Moving seamlessly from speculative reverie to ferocious, tumbling interplay, the degree to which this music sounds intricately arranged probably stems from the quartet’s ability to swap the focus from its frontline to backline in the twinkling of an eye, a rare capacity that brings to mind Wetton-era Crimson’s forays into the unknown. Occasionally reminiscent of Terje Rypdal, Wingfield’s impassioned guitar runs springboard from Reuter’s broad tonal sweeps. A similar role is occupied by Dave Gilmour’s sideman, bassist Yaron Stavi, whose nimble interlocking with drummer Asif Sirkis frequently regulates both direction and temperature.

Sid Smith

Sid's feature articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Prog, Classic Rock, Record Collector, Q, Mojo and Uncut. A full-time freelance writer with hundreds of sleevenotes and essays for both indie and major record labels to his credit, his book, In The Court Of King Crimson, an acclaimed biography of King Crimson, was substantially revised and expanded in 2019 to coincide with the band’s 50th Anniversary. Alongside appearances on radio and TV, he has lectured on jazz and progressive music in the UK and Europe.  

A resident of Whitley Bay in north-east England, he spends far too much time posting photographs of LPs he's listening to on Twitter and Facebook.