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Townsville album cover
Album Information

Total Tracks: 1   Total Length: 53:40

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...like a gent'll reign...


Begins unassumingly enough, even in the context of The Neck's already-diffident catalogue, but hits its flow-point pretty swiftly. It's notable particularly for Tony Buck's wayward approach to time: he sounds like Sunny Murray reincarnated as a gentle rain falling on an empty golden dustbin outside your window (which ain't easy, jazzbos; 'specially considering Murray's not dead at the time of this writing), or a hi-hat taking a long and languid shower. The trio listen to each other so keenly they may as well not be listening to each other at all; three long cycles circle, seemingly parallel but sometimes interlocking. It could last a minute or a month of Sundays.

They Say All Music Guide

A bit of a change of pace for Australian free jazz trio the Necks, Townsville is a live album recorded in the fairly remote Australian town of the same name. A single improvised piece (as nearly all of the Necks’ live performances are) in the 53-minute range, Townsville is the trio in full-on Erik Satie-meets-Brian Eno mode, with drummer Tony Buck sticking almost exclusively to cymbals and hand percussion, and bassist Lloyd Swanton at times playing so quietly as to be almost inaudible, and at others repeatedly returning to one simple recurring figure. This leaves pianist Chris Abrahams to take the organizational lead, playing wave-like clusters of Cecil Taylor-like chords that tinkle off into near silence before roaring back like surf on an Australian beach. That’s pretty much it for the duration of the piece, an extended exploration of a placid mood that meanders pleasantly for most of an hour before quietly petering away. For a trio best known for playing hard-edged jazz with rock intensity, Townsville is an intriguing but inconclusive side trip. – Stewart Mason

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