52 Jazz Tracks for 2021. 48. ‘Slivadiv’ – Back Door, 1972.

The 48th of Jon Turney’s weekly selections is a blast of fresh air from the North.

Back Door, who appeared out of the blue in the early ‘70s came at jazz rock from a different direction, definitively pointed on this first album – the one the trio cooked up in a pub in Yorkshire, and which was picked up by a regular record label a while later.

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It’s a creative triumph for the two great players – Colin Hodgkinson on electric bass and Ron Aspery on saxes and flutes – with solid backing from drummer Tony Hicks. The bassist had developed a prodigious technique, one he still displays, while Aspery combined a similar accomplishment with a feel for the freer jazz sounds of Coleman and Ayler that suited his horns, especially his alto sax, beautifully.

The result was a flawless album of intensely melodic, briefly realised tunes, often driven by bass and sax playing unison or interleaving seamlessly. Even on the slower numbers, the record had the exuberance of players who know they are onto something, and are realising it in some excitement. Up-tempo, four or five others are as bouncy and beguiling as Slivadiv, but it’s a good’un.

Hear the track on Spotify

More on this recording on Jon’s Bristol Jazz Log

Read Jon’s introduction to the ’52 tracks’ series

Week 47. Tripping – Andrew Hill

Spotify playlist for the series

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