Fringe Magnetic - Empty Spaces (3 stars)

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Fringe Magnetic - Empty Spaces

(Loop Records)

Fringe Magnetic is an eclectic project even by the Loop Collective’s famously open-ended standards. The nine-piece band had its origins in a commission from University College London in 2006 allowing trumpeter and composer Rory Simmons to assemble a cross-genre project bringing together jazz and classical musicians – with their respective musical backgrounds and approaches – to explore both composed and improvised music.

The core of the band is Simmons’ quartet with pianist Ivo Neame, bassist Jasper Høiby and drummer Ben Reynolds, augmented by Robin Fincker (clarinet), Tori Freestone (flute), James Allsopp (bass clarinet), Kit Massey (violin) and Natalie Rosario (cello). The instrumental unit coheres well in the context of a free-ranging, shifting sound palette. Elisabeth Nygaard and Andrew Plummer add very different vocal contributions to the mix, the latter to unexpected effect in a declamation of a poem by Charles Bukowski on ‘Ish’ that evokes Tom Waits in overdrive.

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