Album reviews

Jamie Leeming – ‘Resynthesis’

Jamie Leeming Resynthesis

(Sekito.Album review by Tony Dudley Evans)

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Jamie Leeming is a young London-based guitarist who has been touring, mostly with Alfa Mist, but also with Tom Misch, Jas Kayser and Rebecca Nash’s Redefining Element 78 project.  He has one album already out, the well regarded Flow with pianist Maria Chiara Argirò.

The new album Resynthesis, on Alfa Mist’s Sekito label, features Leeming leading a guitar trio with bass and on drums plus special guests, Nathaniel Facey on alto saxophone, Quinn Olton on tenor saxophone, and vocalist Laura Groves.  They each one plays on one track, and there is one solo guitar track.

The mood for the album is immediately set on the excellent first track, Shinkansen, featuring Facey. He brings a nicely edgy quality, with an atmospheric feel created by Leeming’s special sound and texture on the guitar and the cross rhythms from Jamie Houghton on the drums.

Quinn Oulton appears on Champion, bringing a funkier sound, and supported again by some vibrant drumming from Jas Kayser, who combines elements of jazz and hip hop rhythms.  Long Term Memory features vocalist Laura Groves who excels in that difficult-to-define but popular blend of jazz and neo-soul.

These three tracks will be issued as singles.  The remaining five tracks on the album are instrumental tracks with Leeming playing solo with effects on Procession and together with bass and drums on three others and just bass on the final track .  On these, Leeming’s rich and atmospheric sound on the guitar dominates aided by a very solid rhythm from the bass (Joe Downard on the trio tracks) and very interesting patterns on the drums (Jamie Houghton or Jas Kayser).  Leeming’s guitar may dominate, but, nonetheless, the trio achieves a well integrated feel. 

The pattern of the trio tracks is to start quite gently, but to build to a climax with the drums gradually becoming more prominent.  Zen Garden, the short track Meditations and Plateau Trance all follow this pattern; Still Connected, by contrast, has a more mysterious atmosphere beginning with an interesting line from Ben Reed’s bass followed by short phrases on the guitar.  The absence of drums here allows the interaction between bass and guitar to build gradually. The ending feels less of a climax. more of a logical conclusion.

This music will work equally well in the contemporary style of club with a largely standing audience or in the more traditional jazz club setting.

LINK: Resynthesis on Bandcamp

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