Neil Yates – Five Countries
(Edition Records EDN1029. CD Review by Chris Parker)
The ‘Five Countries’ of the title refers to the various birthplaces, migration destinations and current homes of the three musicians involved in this project: trumpeter Neil Yates, classical guitarist Zsolt Bende and percussionist Cormac Byrne.
Yates, who plays flugelhorn, whistle and tenor horn, plus FX, in addition to trumpet, composed most of the music on this ten-track CD, and it ranges unaffectedly between softly pattering flamenco, traditional Irish music and folk-tinged jazz, Yates’s pleasantly breathy playing tellingly complemented by Bende’s gently propulsive but strikingly dexterous guitar and Byrne’s skilfully chosen percussion sounds, which include bodhran and cajon drum.
The natural world is clearly the inspiration for much of the set, and ‘Storm on the Irish Sea’ begins with tempest effects, while ‘Frozen Forest’, ‘Snowdonia’ and ‘Rainy Harbour’ are all suitably atmospheric, Yates meditative or strident as required, Bende delicate or neatly brisk in support.
Another fine, carefully programmed and impeccably recorded album from Edition.