David Preston – Purple / Black Vol. One
(Whirlwind Recordings – WR4804. Album review by Graham Spry)
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Guitarist David Preston has assembled an excellent quartet here, comprising Kevin Glasgow (electric bass), Sebastian Rochford (drums) and Kit Downes (keyboards).
The opening track, “O. Winston”, immediately proclaims that the album means business, with Glasgow’s bass suggesting a hint of menace that could belong on the soundtrack of a noir thriller.
Thereafter the music maintains a commanding, infectious jazz rhythm informed by rock and pop influences, which Preston has used to escape “the homogenously angular sound of much contemporary jazz.”
This, consequently, is unpretentious, lyrical music that should appeal beyond the jazz audience.
Any album featuring Rochford and Downes together is automatically worth listening to and the pair are perfect for Preston’s compositions. Both have dabbled in sounds well outside mainstream jazz and enjoy exploring the more interesting aspects of electric jazz.
The initial sessions were so productive that enough material was recorded for two albums. All the pieces are Preston’s and are often propelled by his favourite power chords, although there are also reflective moods and spare, minimalistic atmospheres.
Purple / Black itself is rather sombre, with a sense of space that evokes wide cinemascope landscapes, and “Cassino Dream” has terrific interplay between piano, guitar and drums.
The quartet has been touring the UK during April and May and we can only hope there will be a further opportunity to see them later this year. Purple/Black Vol. One is a thoroughly enjoyable album and I look forward to listening to Volume Two.