Tony Oxley Celebration Orchestra Featuring Bill Dixon: The Enchanted Messenger

This 1994 Berliner Jazztage program conceptualized by Tony Oxley, primarily a drummer-percussionist and a Briton residing in Germany, is an acquired taste for the unsuspecting listener. Bill Dixon’s breathy fragmented textures contribute to the astute navigation of The Enchanted Messenger’s 19 sections. The veteran Oxley directs his ensemble of strings, percussion, voice, electronics, and brass to achieve powerful undercurrents in sound collage. Mobile units signify chance elements, and resulting timbres obliterate the boundaries between music, architecture, and abstract lithography (cover art by Oxley and Dixon). The two featured musicians, along with trombonist Johannes Sauer and others, have been percolating for decades this performance system, and the stellar music all create is well beyond the merely iconoclastic.