Mats Gustaffson/Steve Reid/Kieran Hebden Live at the South Bank

Kieran Hebden's career was transformed by working with Steve Reid. At a point where his jazz explorations as Four Tet had started to strain linearity, his collaboration with Reid taught him how to put wobble and swing in his grooves without diving off into overt glitch. Reid and Hebden's albums together feature songs that come together and drift apart over several minutes ― this one is no different. However, there's even greater unity to Hebden and Reid's interplay here, likely the result of a soundman's touch in the room. Hebden's lashes of multi-tapped effects add bursts of melody overtop his characteristically detailed soundscapes. That said, Gustaffsson adds little. He bellows with great power, but just can't get into the groove. Since he never resorts to conventional melodic soloing, his constant blasts are monotonous, not hypnotic. This would have been great to see live, but it falls somewhat flat on record, although the charisma of Reid and Hebden is enough to make this disc worthwhile. (Domino)