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New Spring Heel Jack Due in May

Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and saxophonist Evan Parker, two stars of the free-jazz/improvised music scene, are part of a group of like musical thinkers on The Sweetness of the Water, the forthcoming album from John Coxon and Ashley Wales, better known as the electronic duo Spring Heel Jack (pictured). The album is out May 18 via Thirsty Ear and will be the Jack’s fourth contribution to the label’s Blue Series.

The Sweetness is the next step in Spring Heel Jack’s evolving free jazz-meets-electronica experiments. It’s promised to be a more-focused document of the direction the duo took on tour in the U.K. in 2003. Parker has played with the group before; he’s heard on 2002’s Amassed and last year’s Live, along with frequent Jack-collaborator pianist Matthew Shipp. Shipp doesn’t show up on The Sweetness, as the band has, for at least this one album, cut the number of outside players down to a relatively lean four. Joining Parker and Smith as guest instrumentalists on The Sweetness are bassist John Edwards, drummer Mark Sanders (who also gets in some timpani work). Coxon and Wales work on guitars, organs, percussion, samplers and electronics to give the music its modern foundation.

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