Kwartet – Seventh Daze
(Home Made Records HMR 053 – CD review by Chris Parker)
The two saxophonists whose close musical rapport forms the foundation for this pungent but occasionally playful album, Tim Whitehead and Tony Woods, are both powerful and highly individual soloists and skilful composers (Woods with a more overt penchant for traditional-folk roots), so this set of often quirky in-band compositions and three standards/jazz classics is characterised throughout by originality and assurance.
Joined by electric bassist Patrick Bettison and the idiosyncratic but always resourceful drummer Milo Fell, the saxophonists sinuously intertwine, robustly joust and generally strike creative sparks off each other throughout a widely varied programme.
Everything from a stirring arrangement of the traditional ‘Blackwaterside’ through a danceable funk piece (Bettison’s ‘Bustling Stomach’) to rousing two-tenor features such as Woods’s ‘Rowing Blues’ keep up the considerable momentum established by the opener, the intriguingly multi-hued and multi-textured title-track, and overall, this is a consistently lively and enjoyable album, at once imbued with the pleasing informality that results from close musical acquaintance and compatibility, and the attention to detail and nuance that comes from the front line’s wide experience.