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THE CUSP 12:52
OURS 09:23


"Furthered" is the new album by Alex Ward Item 4. The quartet's music is the fullest realization of Ward's long-standing desire to create a context where his compositional concerns can coexist with improvisation of the most unfettered stripe. Given a line-up which would be perfectly capable of creating compelling music without recourse to pre-written elements at all, Ward's compositions aim to function as another "personality" within the overall mix, subject to the same spontaneous interrogation, negotiation and transformation that would naturally go on between the participants in a freely-improvised performance.

The musicians in Item 4 are amongst the most exciting and distinctive in the current London scene, and their rapport pays testament to the close working relationships they have developed in this and numerous other ensembles. The bold angles and asymmetrical construction of "Cypherned"'s opening theme are quickly broken open by Ward's splintered guitar attack and Andrew Lisle's hyperactively virtuosic drumming, initiating a multi-faceted group improvisation which navigates diverse territories before resolving to a subdued yet ominous conclusion. This paves the way for the elegiac "The Cusp", in which Ward switches to clarinet to join with Charlotte Keeffe's broad-toned yet fleetly inventive trumpet in a plangent front-line. Once again the improvisation deftly balances collective and soloistic activity, including an unearthly unaccompanied arco passage from bassist Otto Willberg. Finally, the extended suite that comprises tracks 3 & 4 ("Our/Hours" and "Ours") encompasses unpredictably twisting thematic statements, high-energy soloing from horns and drums, mysterious collective abstractions, and an epic, swelling final section which takes the album into almost post-rock territory without jettisoning the interactive spontaneity which underpins all of the quartet's music.


released March 3, 2023

Alex Ward - Clarinet, electric guitar
Charlotte Keeffe - Trumpet, flugelhorn
Otto Willberg - Double bass
Andrew Lisle - Drums

Recorded November 29, 2019 at Snorkel Studios, London UK by Frank Byng
Mixed and mastered by Alex Ward

Graphic design by Sergio Vezzali
Graphic files preparation by Mark Smith

Music by Alex Ward (PRS)

577 Records is an independent record label based in Brooklyn, New York operating since 2001

577 Records
Brooklyn, New York
©+℗ 2023


all rights reserved



577 Records Brooklyn, New York

577 Records is proud to be celebrating its 22 year anniversary. The label has been producing music since 2001 and has released albums featuring the work of artists from New York and around the world.

The name comes from the address of the house where these concerts first took place (577 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, New York).

100% of profit from the sale of most of these albums goes to the musicians.
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