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Pip Pyle - Instants CD (album) cover


Pip Pyle


Canterbury Scene

2.30 | 4 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Pyleing on the tedium

While not released until 2004, this live set actually dates from some ten years earlier. The story of Equip'out however begin 10 years before that even in 1984, when Pyle met his soon to be girlfriend, pianist Sophia Domancich. They formed the band together, releasing their eponymous début album in 1987. When the relationship stalled, Pyle replaced Domancich with Patrice Meyer, a guitarist originating from France. That line up played only a handful of live gigs, but it is one of these which is captured on this album. Incidentally, the album ttile is taken from the venue for the gig.

The late Pip Pyle (he died in 2006) was of course a drummer, with a fine pedigree in the Canterbury genre. His solo career is limited (as evidenced by the discography on this site), but he has played with a range of fine bands during his lengthy career. As a drummer, he relies to a great extent on the musicianship of his selected band-mates. In this case, in addition to Meyer he is supported by Elton Dean and Paul Rogers.

With a running time of around 51 minutes and just five tracks, it is safe to assume that the gig was centred around improvisation, and that does turn out to be the case. The four performers receive joint writing credits throughout, although Pyle's name appears first in each. Understandably, the mix favours the drumming of Pip, but this leads to an unfortunate muddling of the sound. The delicate sax and guitar on "Verse de Blue" for example are at times buried under an onslaught of crashing cymbals and thumping of skin.

As I have made clear in other reviews, jazz is not a great love of mine, so those in the know on the genre should take my comments with a pinch of salt. There does however seem to be a lack of genuine motivation here, the long pieces being rambling and without direction. I would guess that the strong Soft Machine connection would mean that fans of that band might find something of merit here, but even they are likely to find things getting a tad tedious.

Not my cup of tea I readily admit. I can appreciate the talent of the band members, but collectively this set seems to be without inspiration or enthusiasm.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


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