Riprap Quartet

RipRap Quartet – Snow Blue Night

Kevin Flanagan Riprap Quartet

    1. 1. Snow-blue night 6:30
    1. 2.Old year 7:59
    1. 3.The Beck 6:01
    1. 4. Cuba cafe 4:47
    1. 5. Song 8:15
    1. 6. English isobars 7:43
    1. 7. Newk 5:01
    1. 8. Saying the names 7:14
    1. 9. Our lady of Gaudeloupe 6:13
          10.Helicon 6:25

Kevin Flanagan reeds
Dave Gordon piano
Russ Morgan percussion
Andrew Brown bass

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Riprap formed eight years ago as a group of like-minded musicians who wanted to explore some less common modes of composing and open-ended improvisation, sometimes working with spoken word in the form of readings with contemporary poets, encompassing the freedom that typified the early period of the original Beats. They take their inspiration from the Beat Poets, with their freewheeling lateral association, Miles Davis and his open-ended forms (which always had a solid street-informed rhythmic drive), and Kerouac’s idea of a ‘Holy Goof’ (spiritual trickster).

This has now coalesced into a core quartet: Kevin Flanagan (saxophones), Dave Gordon (piano), Joel Humann (bass) and Tom Hooper (drums/percussion).
Snow Blue Night explores a number of cross-fusions informed by an admittedly catholic range of tastes. The new compositions by Kevin and Dave are inspired in part by festival performances with a number of poets, whose range of styles demanded a look outside the usual jazz canon.

Leading to explorations of sources such as Japanese Gagaku, Rameau, folk tunes and works by the composer Ruth Crawford Seeger, to name but a few. Although purely instrumental on this recording, some of the pieces were originally conceived as commissions to accompany readings by poets such as Ruth Padel, Malcolm Guite, Grevel Lindop and the American alternative poets Gerry Nicosia and Chuck Perkins. The resulting music ranges from burning neo-groove jams and blues to haunting and atmospheric ‘free’ jazz that makes sense, where the musicians solo beautifully and sit in grooves like they’ve found a new place to live.

The group have performed in venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge University, Essex University, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford Civic Theatre, Boxford Jazz Club, Brighton Jazz Club and Peterborough Jazz Club and festivals such as the TS Eliot Festival and John Clare Festival. Their music has been played on the BBC World Service and PBS in the USA. The quartet’s last CD Riprap, explored a series of settings inspired by the work of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Beat poet Gary Snyder.