Leo Appleyard – Pembroke Road
(F-IRE Presents. F-IRECD 75. CD Review by Patrick Hadfield)
I had not heard of Leo Appleyard, a young guitarist based in London. More fool me. He may be young, but his debut CD is remarkably mature.
The compositions are assured, fluid tunes. Neil Yates‘ slow, echoing trumpet and flugelhorn adds an ethereal, almost abstract nature to some of the tracks. It is a lovely record to just listen: the tunes glide past. They’re all written by Appleyard, apart from the standard I Remember You which closes the CD, but rather than dominating the sounds, Appleyard’s guitar mostly adds texture and colour. The melodic duties are taken by Duncan Eagles‘ saxophone and Yates’ horns.
Appleyard and his colleagues – the quintet is completed by Max Luthert on bass and Eric Ford on drums – create a very atmospheric sound. Appleyard has worked with Luthert, Ford and Eagles for several years, and their mutual understanding is clear in the music. In the liner notes, Appleyard explains how Pembroke Road refers a track in rural Wales where he recorded these tracks (not the west London address I had assumed!) and how the location’s “sense of space and isolation captured my imagination”. It imbues the music with a relaxed nature and openness.
Leo Appleyard – Guitar
Neil Yates – Trumpet/Flugel
Duncan Eagles – Sax
Max Luthert – Bass
Eric Ford – Drums/Percussion
Leo Appleyard & Samuel Eagles: F-IRE Records double-bill, Sunday 16 November 2014 1.30pm. PizzaExpress Jazz Club, 10 Dean Street, London W1D 3RW