- Audio CD (11 Sep 1996)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: 33 Jazz
- ASIN: B0000082TU
- Other Editions: MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 187,290 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Theo Travis has been on the jazz scene for a number of years but his distinctive sound and creative inventiveness may perhaps still be under-estimated by the wider jazz loving community. His talents have not gone unnoticed by the others. The creative juice that is Mr. Travis can be found flowing on records by equally remarkable musicians, Steve Jansen and Steve Barbieri (formerly of Japan) and the monsters of 60/70's concept & progressive rock, Gong among them.
If you've read this far you will perhaps appreciate that Theo is a musical chameleon. What an attribute for a jazz musician!
Secret Island is an excellent example of Theo's skill as a leader, composer and saxophonist. From the very first track (Lulworth Night) a passion exudes. Don't expect to just sit back and listen, this is an album that demands attention and involvement. By the time Lulworth Night has finished you'll be anticipating another musical adventure. Hold on! The Crow Road is fast furious and exhilarating. By the end of the track the pause and ballad style of After The Storm will give you a chance to catch your breath. And you will experience another side of Theo's work - the soprano saxophone.
Jazz buffs will recognise John Etheridge. On 5 of Secret Island's tracks he acts as a foil and spur, urging the music along and adding texture to colour. Nowhere is this better experienced than on After The Storm.
But a word has to be written about the other supporting cast members, David Gordon (p), Rob Statham (b) and Marc Parnell (d). This is a close-knit cast of players. Not having met Mr. Travis I don't know for sure but I feel that he is a man who forms, holds and cherishes close relationships. This band has been together for sometime, playing live and in the studio. Like a group of good friends they appreciate each other's talents, let each other speak and value individual abilities. If sitting in a bar this group would be laughing, joking and philosophising. Listen to the debate on Details and the lively discourse on Out Of Sight, Out of Mind. The band is at ease with itself and knows how to banter! (You'll hear Marc Parnell gossiping with a mate, percussionist Gary Hammond as well).
Whether you've read this review as a jazz lover or novice I urge you to make a purchase. Not only will you enjoy the musical company you'll also be drawn into the affray. And if you enjoy Secret Island as much as I think you will there are other retreats for you to slope off to - go discover!
Julian Winn, Rhos-on-Sea
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