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Never Pet A Burning Dog

ALEX MAGUIRE Fender Rhodes el. piano, Hammond organ, Mellotron, synth
MICHEL DELVILLE electric guitar, Roland GR-09
with special guest RICHARD SINCLAIR vocals (1, 5) and electric bass (1, 2)

1. Corale di San Luca 3:05
2. Laughter 6:25
3. Over Birkerot 8:53
4. Sea 7:57
5. Passing Cloud 4:08
6. Cosmic Surgery 6:45
7. Aeon 7:28
8. Beppe's Shelter 8:16


Sometimes bringing two musicians together for the first time can yield some real magic. That was the case when British keyboardist Alex Maguire joined up with Michel Delville and members of the Belgian guitarist's flagship group, The Wrong Object, for Brewed in Belgium (MoonJune, 2008). Never Pet a Burning Dog largely pares things down to a trio featuring Delville, drummer Tony Bianco, and Maguire, who expands his sonic palette here to include electric piano, organ, synth, and that bastion of 1970s progressive rock, the mellotron.
It's largely a free-wheeling blowing session, with compositional contributions from all three members, and a couple of notable exceptions. Bassist/vocalist Richard Sinclair fleshes douBt out to a quartet on three tracks, including "Passing Cloud," which he co-wrote with Maguire, and on which the legendary member of Caravan and Hatfield and the North sings with his warm, melodious voice on one of the disc's most eminently accessible tracks. In addition to singing, he also plays bass on Maguire's opening "Corale di San Luca," a rubato, change-heavy song on which Sinclair gently delivers wordless vocals, and the keyboardist's more aggressive "Laughter," an oblique, jaggedly riff-driven instrumental that's the first indication that douBt has no shortage of teeth. Delville solos with reckless abandon, while Bianco—known for his affiliation with free improvisers like saxophonist Elton Dean, pianist Alex von Schlippenbach and saxophonist Paul Dunmall—provides a tumultuous underpinning. Maguire's overdriven Rhodes solo is a set highlight, going to even more extreme places than he did on Psychic Warrior (Hux, 2005), his impressive album with Dean, bassist Fred T Baker, and drummer Liam Genockey.
The only non-original here is Norwegian guitarist Terje Rypdal's "Over Birkerot," from Odyssey (ECM, 1975). Rypdal has never been one to shy away from high octane, rock-inflected improvisation, but here Delville takes it even further, as Bianco again creates a maelstrom of percussion beneath Maguire's pedal tone, and modal-based solos that turn the heat up even higher.
Bianco's "Sea," not surprisingly, ebbs and flows, with a knotty opening figure that periodically resurfaces, while the drummer's "Aeon" is a brooding but energetic piece featuring a melody from Delville that, despite possessing a voice of its own, again links to Rypdal as one of this album's touchstones. Delville's "Cosmic Surgery" lifts an opening figure from Gentle Giant's title track to Free Hand (Capitol, 1975), but takes it to a far darker place, with Maguire's dense organ and the guitarist's heavily overdriven axe ultimately dissolving into a brooding middle section where, with his guitar turned clean and melodic, Delville references Rypdal's mid-1980s group, The Chasers.


Sound clips require REAL PLAYER
featuring Dave Liebman

Tony Bianco - drums, bass & piano
Dave Liebman - saxophones & wooden flute
Eric St-Laurent - guitar
Ali Keita - Balaphon
Adam Lennox - producer

produced for FMR by Trevor Taylor
  1. Exiled   (5.12)
  2. Strolling In The Savanah   (4.25)
  3. Walking On Wood   (4.25)
  4. Rama Longed For Sita   (2.54)
  5. Monkey Dance   (4.29)
  6. Dark Celestial Maidens  (4.29)
  7. To Gaze At Her   (4.35)
  8. Honey In The Forest   (3.38)
  9. Which Way Do We Go?  (4.24)
  10. Hanuman's Leap  (5.08)
  11. Surya   (4.16)

see Tony's MySpace site for mp3 clips


TONY BIANCO'S MONKEY DANCE with DAVE LIEBMAN - Monkey Dance (FMR 188; UK) Featuring Tony Bianco on drums, bass & piano, Dave Liebman on saxes & wooden flute, Eric St. Laurent on guitar and Ali Keita on balaphon. Like last year's 'Freebeat' disc with Elton Dean, US-born UK-based drummer, Tony Bianco, has put together some hypnotic repeating bass-lines for this group to groove to. Those grooves often do a Miles-like vibe, like Tony writes in the liner notes. As Tony keeps both the bass and drums pumping, Liebman's saxes (tenor & soprano) and Eric's electric guitar play spirited solos around one another. On "Strolling in the Savannah", Dave takes a long, flowing soprano solo with a sly, Trane-like tone. Previously unknown (to me) French guitarist, Eric St. Laurent, plays consistently strong, dark chords underneath as Liebman plays one great solo after another. St. Laurent also solos with great resourcefulness, answering and playing around Liebman in an intense tight-knit fashion. Dave also plays some spirited wooden flute on a couple of these pieces, with Tony's swell mallets supporting them as Erik also plays cautiously behind them. Each piece features an infectious groove that Tony has set up, so both the sax and guitar can take strong solos or just swirl intricately around the groove. One track does feature a fine balaphon line with some lovely flute from Liebman. Consistently enchanting throughout. - BLG

**** "a surprising little gem" JAZZWISE MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 2006



Elton Dean - saxophone
Tony Bianco - drums, piano, bass, synthesizer
Jon Wilkinson - guitar

produced for FMR by Trevor Taylor
  1. Sideway Dreams   (8.54)
  2. Ghost   (7.00)
  3. Pelham Parkway   (7.16)
  4. Red Man   (7.00)
  5. Northern Lights   (8.18)
  6. El Ché  (9.52)
see reviews


Elton Dean/Tony Bianco/Jon Wilkinson-Freebeat Really good, electric jazz album that is Tony's creation, but Elton is the main solistic voice and he sounds great here, in this electronic, post-Bitches Brew swirls of sound! There's no date as to when this was done, but if it's late period Elton, his declining health isn't noticeable on the playing! "The concept of Freebeat came through Tony Bianco’s realisation that time signatures are another way of phrasing. In Freebeat you will feel the pulse, it kind of feels like 4/4, but when you try to count you’ll find that you can’t count anything into it. It’s a combination of beats and phrasing, more like the way speaking occurs. Three of these pieces feature my bass parts looped (sometimes up to a hundred bars), then I play the drums to the bass track, afterwards adding keyboard chords, then Elton and Jon add their parts where I was able to open up the pieces into more of a free zone, while still feeling the pulse.. All tracks were first takes by all on board. The great work that both Elton Dean and Jon Wilkinson contributed is obvious. Straight and Free. Chaos and Order. Liberty and Responsibility combining for Freebeat." - Tony Bianco



Carlos Lopez-Real - alto and soprano saxophone
Zoe Rahman - piano
Oli Hathurst - bass
Tony Bianco - drums

recorded in London 2002
  1. Elfrin   (7.56)
  2. Underplan   (8.33)
  3. Piper   (7.19)
  4. Fallen Angels   (8.40)
  5. Know One Now   (6.57)
  6. Mr. Helpful   (7.43)
  1. So You Say   (8.40)
  2. Chance   (11.58)
  3. The Bells Told   (8.14)
  4. Lequation   (8.32)
  5. Relative Grace   (9.31)

Excerpts from sleeve notes :

The obstacles for me writing music from a drummer's point of view was to know how to elaborate the motifs of the music without going into automatic pilot. To be loose and tense, free and strict. Of course, finding the right band is important. Carlos, Oli and Zoe work great together and their understanding of my well-meaning but vague directions just added to the magic of this recording. We recorded theses 11 tracks one afternoon in December in 2002 in London. Five of the pieces I wrote while the band was coming around to my place for rehearsals, so I felt like I was writing for the band personally.
Tony Bianco

see reviews



exclusive preview of projects not available on CD


Free 1 - Free 2 - Free 3


Freebeat 1 - Freebeat 2

DISCOGRAPHY with other artists

With Paul Dunmall:
  • I You - FMR Records
  • Out from the Cage - FMR Records
  • Bread & Wine - Dun Limited Ed.
  • Gargantulopes - Dun Limited Ed.
  • Dark Clouds Gathering - Dun Limited Ed.
With Elton Dean:
  • QED - Blueprint Records
  • Sea of Infinity - Hux Records
  • Headless Quartet - Culture Press Distribution
  • Two Kind of Blue - Loz Speyer Quartet - 33 Records
  • Hartmann’s Stickstoff - Hans Hartmann - FI Frekveace 1

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