Review – For The Love Of Open Spaces (No Man list)

“There is a new Theo Travis and Steve Lawson album “For The Love Of Open Spaces”. If you haven’t heard about Theo Travis yet, just check credits of the PT and no-man (and even Bass Communion!) albums you have and on some of them you’ll find this name. (My fave no-man contribution of TT i his flute lines on “Chelsea Cap” (All That You Are EP). )

He appears also on (I guess two) Jansen/Barbieri/Karn albums (+ Indigo Falls by Suzanne & Richard Barbieri), Anja Garbarek “Smiling And Waving”, last two or three Gong albums (what he does there is amazing), and many, many others.

I cannot say anything about Steve Lawson as I haven’t heard about him until now, all I know comes from the Internet.

For me the most important Theo Travis works are those with Dave Sturt as the incredible duo Cipher, also recently his solo album “Slow Life” and now “For the Love of Open Spaces” – just released (unexpectedly for me).

If you’ve heard “Slow Life”, just imagine those beautiful flute layers and textures with additional bass by Steve Lawson and here you are. They both recorded the album live in studio, mostly improvising, looping together their instruments: Theo – alto flute or soprano sax, Steve – bass guitar (sometimes sounding like an electric guitar, or even synthesiser). Once it’s even looped back and it still sounds great – remember it’s all made and mixed live without any overdubs. So, that’s a kind of painting – one layer on the previous ones, you don’t know when the line you’ve been concentrating on disappeared and when 5 new appeared. It’s a kind of “dynamic” ambient – it changes all the time, but so fluently and softly that it makes up something like the surface of the an ocean – floating all the time but still uniform, smooth. Start swimming.

A beautiful, reflective and deeply pathetic album, a little bit more melodious than “Slow Life” and therefore more accessible.

quote from the cover: “….hence the sound of 8 bassists and 15 saxophonists playing at once…”

yeah, or flautists…

If nothing changes, it seems that in my very “Top” of this year there may be two Theo Travis albums.

best wishes
exodus .:.”

[editors note – I’m not sure what he means by ‘pathetic’, but the reviewer is Polish, so I’m guessing it lost something in the translation!!!!]

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