The Sensory Illusions

The Sensory Illusions

(Karaoke Kalk)

OF THE many maverick musical minds to have emerged from 1990s Falkirk, Bill Wells may be the most multi-faceted. Winner of the inaugural Scottish Album of the Year award in 2011, in duo with Aidan Moffat on Everything’s Getting Older, he was a veteran of independently-minded music even then, having established his own jazz octet nearly twenty years previously. And of course when he formed the National Jazz Trio of Scotland it was neither a trio nor played jazz, and did not pretend to represent the nation in any way.

Emerging from the same Cologne label that has released those records, his latest project is a duo with virtuoso tuba player Danielle Price, whose involvement in music-making in Scotland does not have quite as long a history but is similarly diverse, also involving the promotion of chamber music alongside freelance orchestra work. With Wells playing electric guitar, the pair are a two piece movie-soundtrack outfit and surf-rock band whose debut appearance was at Glasgow’s Hug & Pint supporting the Anna Meredith band, and whose album was made in a single day at An Tobar on the Isle of Mull.

Wells has involved tuba in his music before and in Price he has found the perfect musical partner, capable of being a one-woman rhythm section as well as taking charge of the melody when he changes from twang lead to rhythm mode. Tunes include Bagpipe Dream, Tango Dream and Brass Alley Dream (for Daniel Padden), as well as a cover of Jerry Goldsmith’s theme from the James Coburn-starring 1966 film, Our Man Flint.

However, the best title of the eight is Hurricane Andrew Peters Out, a four word promise that is entirely fulfilled by the music.

Keith Bruce