The Fish - Live at Olympic Café & Jazz à Mulhouse

Julian Cowley, The Wire

“Live music with spirit” is the Ayler Records motto and this fits the bill perfectly. Two lengthy pieces in Paris at the end of 2005 and one from Alsace last August show this fiery French trio in blistering form. Bassist Benjamin Duboc and drummer Edward Perraud sustain the pace, and provide a rugged backdrop while Jean-Luc Guionnet wrings intensity from his alto saxophone. Each of the three tracks is in the vicinity of 40 minutes and the level of energy doesn’t flag. While early examples of this kind of aggressive free jazz blowing make most replicas superfluous, there’s nothing redundant about the stamina, high tension and sinuous fluency of The Fish’s music.