When a quartet of established, improvising musicians arrives on stage, there can be some expectation in our minds as to what might ensue. But in the case of live-recorded 'No Boundaries'- with the combined acquired knowledge, intuition and invention of drummer/percussionist Andrew Bain, trumpeter/flugelhornist Peter Evans, alto saxophonist John O'Gallagher and electronics master Alex Bonney - we are prompted to explore spheres perhaps outside of our experience.
This immersive, continuous sequence of free improvisation was captured at the intimate listening venue of the MAC (Midlands Arts Centre) in Birmingham. "I'm challenging the idiomatic instrumental make-up of the jazz ensemble where conventional boundaries and comparisons are usually already set", explains Bain, Senior Lecturer in Jazz at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
Also fundamental to the unfettered intent of this collaboration is the fact that the artists had never previously worked together as a quartet, nor was there any premeditated conversation or rehearsal. Among a traditional chordless environment of sax, trumpet and drums (minus piano and bass), Alex Bonney's real-time electronics sample, manipulate and restate live sounds from different sections of the performance, contributing to an arresting, reverberant arc of originality.
Bain's solid percussive set-up, with rock snare drum, informs shifting atmospheres which take us into galaxies beyond perceived jazz territory, firing our own imaginations. Here, asteroid whistles echo in hyperspace as haunting trumpet and sax evocations abound, accelerating frenetically across rolling, hollow drums. Fluttering valves and mouthpiece sputterings converse with three-dimensional electronic bleeps and agitated snare as O'Gallagher's chromatic alto continuously ascends and descends against the expansive maelstrom of Bain's kit.