delivers pure, unalloyed pleasure for all of its 70 minutes.
TOP TEN (in alphabetical order)
John Abercrombie Quartet – 39 Steps (ECM 374 2710)
Both Abercrombie and Copland are unhurried, thoughtful players, their solos impeccably tasteful but surprisingly robust
…his [Biscoe’s] unassuming, learned demeanour belying a soloist of passionate (and unfailingly inventive) intensity
absorbing, often viscerally exciting album
eschewing the vocal pyrotechnics that disfigure so much contemporary balladry, Carroll’s singing wrings the heart in a manner achieved by a precious few
a lush, occasionally downright sumptuously sensuous sound
the quartet, throughout this utterly absorbing and consistently engaging album, constantly pull off small miracles of mutual sensitivity and poetic creativity.
Joe Lovano UsFive – Cross Culture (Blue Note 509996 38761 2 3)
A hugely ambitious but stunningly realised album from a great master.
Swallow’s stellar band address his often deceptively simple-sounding themes with wry wit, exquisitely tasteful vigour and carefully calibrated control
often relatively complex, tricksy affairs with subtly shifting rhythmic emphases and unusual melodies