0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent modern jazz,
This review is from: Blues Vignette (Audio CD)
My first experience of Gwilym Simcock was a live performance he gave about a year ago, shortly after the release of this album. It was absolutely phenomenal; on the back of his trio's fine performance this evening I snapped up this double-cd right away. In my view, Jazz is almost always better live; inevitably coming off the real thing onto this recording I much less excited, but in the time since I've found that I listen to it more and more and have come to appreciate its own merits a great deal.
The first CD is of solo performances, some of them Ketih Jarrett-esque improvisations, presumably without any pre-meditated planning or compositional element. Also included is a two-movement duo suite for piano and cello. The second CD features Simcock with his trio, Bassist Yuri Gobuley and Drummer James Madryn. In my view the second CD is superior to the first; excellent music throughout; mostly originals (I particularly enjoyed "Tundra") but a couple of standards which nevertheless are given a clearly idiosyncratic doing-over. Simcock's style is virtuosic without being difficult; inspired perhaps by a classical background; and his fellow-players are excellent accompanists, although I felt there was a bit much arco Bass for a jazz record. The first CD is less consistent; the Cello suite was nice but left me merely lukewarm, and the three free-improvisations will seem fairly unexciting to those used to Keith Jarrett's improvisations. The piano solo originals are excellent however, as is the improv. on the slow movement of Grieg's piano concerto (playing jazz with Classical tunes is nothing new of course but this is an excellent example of where it works).
Good stuff, we can only hope this is just the start of a long career of excellent music!