Baecastuff album

Mutiny Music


Baec resThis was a labour of blood-line love. In 2011 Rick Robertson, who is descended from Fletcher Christian, unveiled a suite tracing the history of the nine Bounty mutineers and 16 Tahitians who settled on Pitcairn Island in 1790, and the 194 people who relocated to Norfolk Island in 1856. In concert it was accompanied by images and spoken word, which made the programmatic intentions of the music plain. For this recording liner notes guide the listener instead, although the music is utterly absorbing independently of its narrative content.

Robertson (saxophones), Phil Slater (trumpet), Matt McMahon (keyboards) Alexander Hewetson (basses), Simon Barker (drums) and Aykho Akhrif (percussion) have massaged the material into forms that serve the programmatic aims while giving them room to move as improvisers. Perhaps, however, only a double–album would have fully liberated the improvisational potential. The breadth of sources is phenomenally wide: the already diverse jazzy elements host Polynesian rhythms and textures, Scottish and Irish snippets, brooding Pitcairn hymns and rap-like pieces based on Norfolk language samples. The results are enthralling.