No Messin is putting it mildly.
This outstanding British septet (with the exception of Canadian tenorist, Steve Kaldestad) launches into a batch of eight originals expertly arranged by leader and flautist, Gareth Lockrane with considerable aplomb. Juggling an arsenal of three different flutes spanning the middle, alto and bass tessituras, Lockrane enchants the listener with his fluid melodic improvisations coupled with his wondrous mix of orchestrational and compositional talents.
The velvety flugelhorn of “Dog Soup’s” Robbie Robson scores widely with his pensive but gripping melodicisms. Trombonist Trevor Mires anchors the lower mediums of the ensemble work, as well as contributing fine solos with just the right balance of angularity and lyricism. Vancouver BC- based tenor saxophonist Steve Kaldestad is up to his usual seamless yet serpentine-like improvisations showcasing a most centred and rich tone. The steady rhythm team of Robin Aspland , piano, Matt Miles, bass and Matt Home on drums provide sterling support throughout, goading soloists at every turn with incisive verve .
We’ll Never Meet Again is my personal favourite of the disc. This boasts a haunting but heartfelt and lyrical melody. The leader’s alto flute gingerly lopes above the subtle counterlines by various three horn combinations exploring a lower and more introspective mood with moving chromaticisms.
A fabulous collection, this, by a truly great lineup that could hold their own in any land.
No Messin’ is available from Jazzcds.co.uk
Gareth Lockrane’s next appearance as leader will be with the Big Band at the Rayners Hotel on Sunday January 10th.
Frank Griffith’s nonet will be at the Green Man on Wednesday January 27th.