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(confront collectors series ccs 62)



with sounds from Trevor Taylor, Frank Perry, Philipp Wachsmann, Marcio Mattos, Nicky Heinen, Paul Brighton.


1. A Voice You Left Behind (Ian Brighton - guitar) with voice of Derek Bailey (by kind permission of Karen Brookman Bailey and Brian Morton)

2. Chasin Lol (Ian Brighton)

3. 30 years from Yesterday - (Ian Brighton with Philipp Wachsmann - violin, Marcio Mattos - double bass, Trevor Taylor - percussion)

4. Alive and Well (Ian Brighton)

5. Percussion Discussion (Ian Brighton with percussion sounds provided by Frank Perry and Trevor Taylor including Nicky Heinen - flute)

6. Generations Apart (Ian Brighton with Paul Brighton - Live Electronics)

7. Going Home (Ian Brighton with Paul Brighton - Live Electronics)


Tracks 4 (2001) & 1,2,5,6,7 (2013-2015) recorded by Paul Brighton , track 3 (1986) recorded by Trevor Taylor.

Mastered at Foundry Studios, Portsmouth by Kevin Smith 2016


Ian Brighton is an improvising guitarist known mostly for his work between the 70s and the early 90s playing alongside Lol Coxhill, Philipp Wachsmann, Marcio Mattos, Trevor Taylor, Frank Perry, Radu Malfatti Veryan Weston and Larry Stabbins. He also was part of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble with John Stevens, Trevor Watts and Evan Parker, the Tony Oxley Quartet and co-founder, with Trevor Taylor, of the Alternative Music Orchestra. Other contemporaries at the time included David Toop, John Russell, Roger Smith and Peter Cusack; each different in their approach to improvisation on the guitar.


After an absence of nearly 30 years, interest was expressed when he appeared on Tony Oxley's 75 years birthday album on Incus.  This  was followed by a release on SoundCloud in 2014 entitled " A Voice You Left Behind " ;  a tribute to his old friend and mentor, Derek Bailey. Now and Then was conceived as a way of getting together with old friends through a recorded medium. His son Paul recorded the album and played on two tracks and Ian's old friends Trevor Taylor and Frank Perry are brought together to feature on a composed improvisation track.  There is also an exclusive unreleased remastered recording of the original quartet from 1985 and a tribute to Lol Coxhill.




Ian Brighton's first album Marsh Gas was released on Bead Records in 1977. This, his second album, is released nearly forty years later. Marsh Gas is now, sadly, a rare and virtually unobtainable artefact (other than the availability of some tracks via YouTube) so it's significant that Brighton's Now And Then has been released to coincide with the guitarist's 72nd birthday and which proves that he has not lost an iota of the iconoclastic dynamism he evinced all those decades ago. In addition to his solo performances, he was also a member of John Stevens' Spontaneous Music Ensemble and the Tony Oxley Quartet.

"A Voice You Left Behind" begins poignantly with the inimitable strains of Derek Bailey's softly but incisively spoken words on the subject of the potential oxymoron of recorded improvisation. Bailey was Brighton's guitar tutor and mentor and this is apparent from the moment Brighton starts playing his electric archtop. However, Brighton is by no means a copyist, he has his own distinct style and avoids the overuse of Bailey's trademark harmonics. "Chasin Lol" is a solo guitar paean to the late and greatly missed soprano saxophonist Lol Coxhill. Here Brighton employs frenetic, darting movements, often incorporating both a slide and some behind the bridge playing. 

"30 Years From Yesterday" is the first of only two of the seven tracks presented here which was not recorded between 2013 and 2015. Recorded in 1986 it features his long-time erstwhile colleagues Phil Wachsmann on violin, Marcio Mattos on bass and Trevor Taylor on percussion. Here, along with glissando waves from all three stringed instruments and accompanying rasping percussion, we hear that Brighton has adopted the occasional use of a piece of Bailey apparatus, the volume pedal, with which he is able to colour his tonal palette, and this is also in evidence on the succeeding track "Alive And Well" featuring Brighton on solo guitar once more and which was recorded in 2001. 

In contrast to the lone guitar, "Percussion Discussion" is absolutely gripping. Sheets of echoing percussion cascade and envelope the metallic florid guitar notes. Frank Perry and Trevor Taylor play in tandem along with intermittent contributions from Nicky Heinen on flute. The only slight negative here is that it is not possible to determine which percussionist is playing what. But this is a minor quibble as the overall effect is dramatic and engaging.

"Generations Apart" features Brighton with his son Paul on electronics and from the opening, Brighton's characteristic bold note-striking tendency is encountered whilst the electronics provides aural light and shade. "Going Home" benefits from an underlay of electronics over which the guitarist explores tintinnabulating territory.

Along with others including Derek Bailey, Marc Ribot, Roger Smith, John Russell, Keith Rowe and Fred Frith, Brighton is a significant if too rarely heard innovator in the world of guitar improvisation. Key to Brighton's work is the too rarely heard characteristic of exploring the possibilities rather than the probabilities of the sounds of his instrument. And that, above all, is what makes this album important. (Roger Farbey - ALL ABOUT JAZZ)

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