Last-minute preparations generally end up fortunate. Drummer Dave Barry was booked for a recording session that was cancelled. He had needed to report with saxophonist Artwork Themen for a while and grabbed the cancelled date. Themen was free, and so had been their first decisions, pianist Gareth Williams and bassist Dave Inexperienced. That is the outcome. The eight tracks are a mix of numbers composed by jazz musicians and some outdated songs which have drifted into the jazz repertoire, however right here the remedy is looser and extra creative than the standard parade of solos. We frequently hear simply piano and bass, as an illustration, or saxophone and piano.
The range, not solely of sound however of environment and temper, is exceptional. The title piece, by Dexter Gordon, has Themen buzzing about its easy melody like a mischievous bee, whereas Williams’s hanging facility with time reveals that it doesn’t must be easy in any respect. Ellington’s Prelude to a Kiss manages to be effortlEllingtontonian with out imitating him and, for me, is the very best of an excellent bunch. All achieved in at some point!