foom! foom!


[full press reviews]


"An essential record. Very fine; an outstanding record that yields consistent pleasure and demands a place in any comprehensive collection." THE PENGUIN GUIDE TO JAZZ ON LP, CD & CASSETTE

"Involvement and intensity, invention and insurrection.....manna from heaven.....Superb." Ben Watson HIFI NEWS & RECORD REVIEW

"Spontaneous music of a scorching and unrelenting intensity.....conversational music of the most intuitive eloquence.....unquenchable energy.....There probably isn't such a thing as state-of-the-art free music, but as a term of convenient endearment, it's close enough." John Fordham THE GUARDIAN

"They left the audience in a state of shock. Whiteheat improvisation, full throttle free jazz out of Archie Shepp 1969, but somehow more so: more venom, more noise, more discord, more evil heat.....simultaneous musicality and cathartic excess.....we are talking the essence of what makes jazz great here." Ben Watson THE WIRE

"The astounding Hession/Wilkinson/Fell trio is surely surpassing even the Brötzmann/van Hove/Bennink group for raw power and ideas." Mike Fish THE WIRE

"A trio with a growing notoriety for a furious brand of free jazz." THE GUARDIAN

foom! foom! placed no. 4 in The Wire Critics' Poll (Jazz & Improvised) 1992

"The high standard set by earlier recordings is maintained and the music making is, as we have come to expect, accomplished, pungent and fervid . . . . . with the intensity dial set at 11." Barry Witherden THE WIRE


"A squalling homage to the Albert Ayler/Gary Peacock/Sunny Murray trios of 1964 . . . . good studio sound . . . . . recommended." Robert L. Campbell CADENCE

"Explodes with potent, visceral charge. Wilkinson's searing baritone playing screams as he agilely wails, thunders and exorcises the demons while Fell's solid, pummelling bass and Hession's crackling drums madly propel the sheet-lightning catharsis." Michael Rosenstein CADENCE

"Hession and Wilkinson are two of the best improvisers in the country." Mark Russell MIXING IT, BBC RADIO 3

"Testing the very outer limits of what the saxophone is capable of." Robert Sandall MIXING IT, BBC RADIO 3

"One of the most exciting groups currently working . . . . . Alan Wilkinson is able to generate a devastating ardour whenever he plays . . . . . a lasting pleasure." Philippe Renaud NOTES

"Totally great wall of oomph free power-jazz . . . . . this kind of post ESP/FMP intensity is rarely encountered these days, to say the least." Jimmy Johnson FORCED EXPOSURE

"A dolorous line that has the same flavor as Ornette Coleman's more moody work . . . . a frenzy of overblowing that evolves into a weird mix of Ayleresque cries and space-yodelling in the Leon Thomas tradition . . . . . Wilkinson is a saxophonist whose work is on a par with Charles Gayle, David Ware, Peter Brötzmann or any of the other heavyweight reedmen who are still playing hard and free. I can think of many young American conservatives who would do well to have their heads shoved deep into the bell of his baritone for a season or two." Byron Coley FORCED EXPOSURE

"A minor classic . . . . . there's enough free blowing on this disc to satisfy most apostles of din . . . . . it's a joy to know that there's a working unit in England capable of producing unapologetic, truly free jazz and I'm looking forward to getting to grips with Bruce's Fingers' back catalogue." Stefan Jaworzyn GRIM HUMOUR

"Staunch, all guns a-blazing improvising trio." THE GUARDIAN

"The sound of the future, a new level of intensity. The musical interaction is turbo-charged, dense and fluid." Ben Watson YORKSHIRE POST

"A good one. An old style teutonic high energy steam roller. They establish an unbroken, rolling rhythm with Wilkinson blowing the baritone inside out." Roland Ramanan LMC NEWSLETTER

"The musicians have a wonderful understanding of each other's temperaments and once locked onto a mood, refinements and developments are explored with great subtlety. An assured and impassioned performance throughout." Chris Blackford RUBBERNECK

"Ferocious music with Fell's bass work astonishing in places. Wilkinson also fires fast on baritone . . . . . over Hession's drum barrage." Stephen Middleton OSTINATO

"They certainly seem in no doubt as to how to proceed and play like fanatical converts to a new religion . . . . . There are elegantly wrought melodies and microscopic examinations of sound . . . . . Hession's snare work is rapid fire and lethal, swarming all over the saxophone lines, punching and kicking with unity of purpose. Fell surges and slides, lifting up the whole from beneath. But if there is one thing that rings in your ears it is the vocalised elements of Wilkinson's playing and there is a perfect continuity between his voice and his sax; they appear to be extensions and derivations of each other . . . . . The synchronicity of the group is remarkable; teamwork that allows aeroplanes to take off and land, avalanches to start and the hearts of listeners to pump a little faster." Roland Ramanan LMC NEWSLETTER

"The constant interaction on display resurrects the miraculous understanding at the heart of the Bill Evans trio of the early sixties . . . . . but resulting in a music often passionate, explosive and full of devastating enthusiasm." Gustave Cerutti NOTES

"The barbarian baritone of Alan Wilkinson, haunting cry . . . . . of a free-punk revival in the rudest of health." Andrea Petrini JAZZMAN

"foom! finds this trio working with admirable restlessness to uncover their sounding of the form . . . . . the sustained softer textural examinations nicely offset the de rigeur, but nonetheless emotionally convincing blow-outs which are this music's raison d'etre." Milo Fine VOTIVE

"Give me this kind of thing by Hession/Wilkinson/Fell. That for me is the music to blow out all this nonsense about cool." Ben Watson KALEIDOSCOPE, BBC RADIO 4

"One of the essential discs of the year." Philippe Renaud IMPROJAZZ

"Celebrated British saxophone, bass & drums trio. If you haven't heard them yet, this is your chance." TIME OUT

"A roar of energy and heat; Wilkinson employs techniques distinctly his own, his strange tone, cutoffs and truncated riffs manage to sear through like a chinese instrument." LaDonna Smith THE IMPROVISOR

"foom! foom! has energy playing in the style of Albert Ayler or Peter Brötzmann. Acoustic jazz intent on intensity. A compacted show of strength ready to burst your eardrums. A hurricane which makes the trumpets (trombones?) of Jericho sound like a weak fart. Pure energy!" Pepsch Muska JAZZ LIVE

"Paul Hession seemed in particularly good fettle - syncromesh detail and flailing violence against Wilkinson's beautiful and innovative harmonies, eerily purified ghosts of Albert Ayler. This trio are truly a fountain of invention." Ben Watson RESONANCE

"Wilkinson can't play second fiddle: his performance has to be the main event. When he's matched with such extroverts - and virtuosi - as Simon Fell and Paul Hession all hell (and heaven!) is let loose. Remind yourself of how creative, urgent and beautiful jazz can be." Ben Watson YORKSHIRE POST

"The top improvising group in the UK, with an international reputation for intense and powerful playing." MIDLAND ARTS CENTRE

"Explosive" Linton Chiswick TIME OUT

"A punk/jazz racket, a rabid whirl of reed, sticks and string chaos. The Hession/Wilkinson/Fell trio are indeed very intense . . . . . playing wild and hard, their acoustic line-up sticks to a basic jazz instrumentation, but derails all expectations of what they should sound like." Martin Longley BIRMINGHAM POST

"Pottering about on the outer perimeters of improvisation, heard to excellent effect on a series of independent and obscure releases . . . . . they cover jazz structure, funk/rock disintegration, and cluttery stuttery baggage rattling. Fell approaches bebop, classical and death metal frontiers too . . . . . Compelling." BIRMINGHAM WHAT'S ON

"Birthed by a free improv scene whose anything-goes aesthetic could uniquely tolerate their excess, this trio's ceaseless invention and challenge threaten the parameters of the 'scene', propose a music so much more effective that the rest start to resemble the scorched-earth desolation of a launchpad rather than the fertile flora of a natural habitat. When Fell plays high he doesn't stop until he has gone beyond his own reach: it's this burst-all strenuousness that HWF have resolved to cultivate and it's paradoxical in being so reliably astonishing. Fell wets his fingers to bring staggering sounds from his over-amplified bass violin, and if they are too dry he WETS THEM AGAIN: this 'not give up' is an image of the music's refusal to kowtow, accept . . . . . an instantaneousness that's uncanny . . . . . Cherokee-style modernist primitivism and decorative excess . . . . . climactic jazz that showed a rare grasp of bass-superstructure dialectic." Ben Watson RESONANCE

"One of the UK's most devastating improv groups" FOURTH DIMENSION

"Explosive saxophonist Alan Wilkinson leads his acclaimed trio with Simon Fell and Paul Hession . . . . . some of the most gifted names in free improvisation." Linton Chiswick TIME OUT

"One of the most exciting groups around at the minute. Alan Wilkinson deserves particular mention. In each of his offerings he kindles a wild fire. Furthermore, he learns from the European masters of the genre - and through that alone is cause for permanent pleasure." Philippe Renaud JAZZ LIVE

"Powerful, committed and expressive free jazz" AVANT

"Outstanding CD of free jazz playing, spirited, loud and fierce; 'threeway dialogues of unstoppable velocity'. Alan Wilkinson is one of my personal favourites in the UK scene and continues to this day to make a delicious racket with his vast honking bell of metal. This great CD is six studio recordings whose names evoke the fun-loving Derek Bailey penchant for hilariously elaborate titles – e.g. The Alphabet Poised Like Twenty-Six Frozen Ducklings." Ed Pinsent THE SOUND PROJECTOR

"Sit Paul Hession behind his drum kit and out comes a rolling river of sound made up of cracks, rumble, booms and shimmers. His sticks and brushes are rarely at rest, seeking all the places where he can coax all the quiet, big, loud and small sounds from his wood, skin and metal. Alan Wilkinson can circular breathe with the best of them, throwing out spiralling runs of notes, stopping only occasionally to fix on a pattern that took his fancy, have a look at it from different angles and then move on. Perversely, he plays very high notes on his baritone and very low notes on his alto, and every now and again he makes a quite extraordinary sound which is like a cross between rapid spluttering or patting. Simon Fell uses a range of bows, sticks and kitchen utensils to supplement his fingers in yanking out a barrage of thrums, pops, bangs and clicks from his bass. Sometimes it sounds like two people having a conversation in a foreign language. All three are playing together but separately. I can guarantee that you will have heard nothing like it before and you will never hear its like again, it's quite simply the purest, most liberating and exhilarating musical experience you are ever likely to have. And they really are loud; all you doubting Darren's out there might think a few weedy drums, a couple of bent bits of tubing and big wooden box could hardly be LOUD, surely? But when Wilkinson interrupts a relatively quiet opening to one piece with the most bowel quaking alto roar I have ever heard, a few less hardy souls in the room involuntarily clasp their hands to their ears in shock. Wilkinson clearly enjoyed the effect because he does it again. And the energy: younger rock musicians with a phalanx of electronic aids to hide behind would find it difficult to sustain this level of invention and energy over 90 minutes." Johnny Ersatz-Culture HASSRA NEWSLETTER

"Superb." Barry Witherden THE WIRE

"What can you say when you get three yobs like this together who just want to blow the gates off of heaven every time they get together? Is it possible to sit and write a close analysis of every wrapped encounter on the bandstand, analyzing each improvisational encounter and how one of these complete free-for-alls is different from one another? I suppose it is, but why? This trio - with Wilkinson on soprano, alto, and baritone; Simon Fell on bass; and Paul Hession on drums - would be insulted if they weren't bored to tears reading such a thing first. This is extreme music made for extreme ears. That said, in the symbiotic interrelationships that are formed, torn apart, and re-formed among the fissures these tunes create, there is a logic at work, one that relies heavily on the idea that listeners don't really know what harmony, rhythm, and melody are yet, and they are still working toward that idea - albeit in a violent and hilarious way. This is a band who has no trouble making an audience sit up and take notice either on the stand or in their living rooms, and the reason for that is simple: Nothing about this music is compromised or half-baked; it's furious with humor built in, and it's knotty, scaly, confrontational stuff played with warmth and verve. Highly recommended." Thom Jurek ALL MUSIC GUIDE

"Practically everything played and recorded from 1991-1993 by the trio was magnificent." Ben Watson HIFI NEWS


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