Raymond Macdonald & Günter ‘Baby’ Sommer (3 stars)

Delphinius & Lyra (Clean Feed)

Raymond Macdonald


More recorded documentation from the undoubted leader of the Glasgow school of free improvisation, saxophonist Raymond MacDonald. Hard on the heels of the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra’s latest opus, Falkirk (FMR), comes this collaboration with German drummer Günter Sommer. The duo grew out of an earlier GIO project commemorated in the title of the opening improvisation here, ‘GIO and the Dresden Free Team’.

Sommer is a long-established figure in European free improv, and MacDonald has been building a growing reputation on that small but passionate scene. They combine to coruscating effect on this unusually packaged disc, with MacDonald’s biting, intelligent and heartfelt alto and soprano howling around Sommer’s agile drums and fierce vocal interjections. Not everybody’s cup of tea by any stretch of the imagination, but another vibrant addition to the saxophonist’s already copious discography, although he has a bit to go to catch up with the likes of Anthony Braxton or Evan Parker.


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