bill wells & maher shalal hash baz Gok (CD, £11.50)label: geographic
Bill Wells and Maher finally pair up for this studio album which charms listeners with its beautiful and warm melodies. Bill Wells is best known to most for his earlier work within the Octet and from his numerous collaborations and projects with artists including The Pastels, Future Pilot aka and Isobel Campbell. Geographic brought various releases from Bill, including those from the scaled down Bill Wells Trio back in 2000, with ‘Incorrect Practice’, followed by 2002's ‘Also In White'. Mutually admiring of each other's music, a collaboration between Bill Wells and Maher Shalal Hash Baz finally materialized in 2004 when Bill managed to secure some funding for a trip to Japan. The resultant set is alive and warm and immediate; it doesn't try to cover up mistakes, it embraces them, makes them part of the record. While complementing his previous ‘Osaka Bridge Live’ set, ‘Gok’ stands as one of Bill Wells's most important studio albums. Its success has encouraged him to return to Japan.
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