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London Improvisors Orchestra: Proceedings

With the release of Proceedings, the London Improvisers Orchestra all but overshadows its many predecessors, not just by virtue of its size (anywhere from 18 to 30 musicians perform over the course of the two-CD set), but in its representation of nearly every subset and ideological cell of London’s teeming improvised music scene.

First assembled for a ’97 UK tour of Butch Morris’ “London Skyscraper” conduction, the LIO has extrapolated the general proposition of shaping improvisations through various cueing schemes, ranging from the simple “On/Off” signals saxophonist Evan Parker employs on the piece of the same name, to bass player Simon H. Fell’s elaborate methods for deconstructing jazz repertoire on “Ellington 100 (Strayhorn 85).” Violinist Phillip Wachsmann one-ups the rest, however, by using five conductors-four are assigned different sections of the orchestra; they can be likened to submasters on a mixer, while Wachsmann controls the main output.

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