Tim Thornton – New Kid
(SaySo Records SEHS005CD, CD review by Chris Parker)
“I am very happy with the organic nature of the record … it captures the essence of a live performance” is bassist/composer Tim Thornton’s verdict on this, his debut recording as a leader.
It features his compositional and instrumental talents (the latter in both energetic, propulsive accompanying roles and solos of admirable power and cogency) alongside a shifting line-up of players, with many of whom he has had lengthy associations. Chief among these is tenor saxophonist Dave O’Higgins, who fires off a series of characteristically sinewy solos on Thornton’s jauntier pieces (the opening title-track, the closing Southpark Avenue and tastefully tones his approach down on the bassist’s quieter compositions.
The album also contains intelligent Thornton arrangements of standards/jazz classics, most notably Ornette Coleman’s When Will the Blues Leave, which elicits a rousing solo from pianist Ross Stanley, who is ear-catchingly impressive throughout (his contribution to the ballad A Scene for Dreaming a particular highlight), as is drummer Chris Draper.
Also featuring three guest appearances by lively trumpeter Steve Fishwick, this is a consistently listenable, immediately accessible album, unshowy – even relatively easygoing – but an auspicious debut none the less.