Wednesday 2 November 2022

'Same Moon in the Same World' by Ant Law & Alex Hitchcock

'Same Moon in the Same World' is the excellent new collaborative project from guitarist Ant Law and saxophonist Alex Hitchcock.

In the last few years, we've covered a wide array of projects that were birthed from the unprecedented circumstances of the global pandemic and while our respective worlds were subsequently turned upside down, it was a particularly difficult situation for the music industry to have to adapt to.  Conversely, this can also be seen as a challenge that many have risen to - the need to continually create, even in less-than-inspirational circumstances, has led to some wonderful and inspired ideas and projects and certainly not artists to allow themselves to be slowed down or hindered by something as mundane as a worldwide pandemic, the creation of 'Same Moon in the Same World' could very well have proven to be the perfect remedy to those potential feelings of isolation and uncertainty.

And therein lies the bittersweet poetry of the entire experience - feelings of isolation and uncertainty that we as a global community experienced together.  

A line from Haruki Murakami's 1999 novel, 'Sputnik Sweetheart', has been cited by the duo as the source of inspiration for the album's title and concept: "we're both looking at the same moon in the same world.  We're connected to reality by the same line".  It's beautifully put and all the more poignant when applied to recent circumstances.

With live performances shelved for a large portion of that period, Law and Hitchcock embraced the opportunity to connect with artists from varying parts of the world using online methods.  The accompanying video for the single 'Outliers' serves as a great example for how ideas and collaborations were executed and how Zoom-based interactions proved an invaluable resource in pulling together some incredible names including Joel Ross, Eric Harland, Jasper Høiby, Linda Oh, Kendrick Scott, Shai Maestro, Tim Garland, Ben Williams and Sun-Mi Hong. 

For both, Law and Hitchcock, the concept of collaboration has served as a prominent component to each of their respective catalogues.  With solo album releases for Whirlwind Recordings and Edition Records, the highly-decorated guitarist Ant Law has cultivated an incredible career in the years since his debut album release in 2013.  Outside of his three, tremendously acclaimed solo releases, the Grammy-nominated Law also serves as a member of Trio HLK (alongside Rich Kass and Rich Harrold) and as a frequent collaborator to Tim Garland's projects with further musical contributions to music by Cory Henry, Jason Rebello and Thomas Gould.

Similarly, Alex Hitchcock has continually proved himself as another boundlessly creative musician.  With solo releases through the Spanish label, Fresh Sound New Talent, the saxophonist has further diversified his sound alongside the jazz-funk collective, Resolution 88, as well as excelling as part of the abstract pairing with saxophonist Tom Barford for their AuB project.  

The Law and Hitchcock union for this album lends itself to a fascinating concept from two artists with progressive and dynamic takes on contemporary jazz and who thrive from continually striving to create something new.  

Over the course of the album's nine tracks, compositions are shared evenly between the two before a collective dothing of the cap to John Coltrane's 'After the Rain' which arrives in the form of the album's exquisite closing number.  Featuring varying arrangements of the aforementioned contributors, the album showcases a series of excellent highlights from the undeniable soulful groove of 'Haven't Meta Yet' featuring US drummer Eric Harland, to the sublime and somewhat ethereal 'Vivid' propelled by vibraphonist Joel Ross, the commanding bass of Linda May Han Oh and a lush and understated wordless vocal from Sun-Mi Hong.  A further highlight comes in the form of 'Chrysalis' with Ben Williams which is a captivating and elevating listen.

While quarantine life has led to some life-changing and desolate moments for many, there is still joy to be found in these little moments of creativity and art and 'Same Moon in the Same World' is a fantastic release worthy of each Law and Hitchcock's respective high-calibre catalogues.

The album is available to purchase from Bandcamp, 4th November.

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