The bands official name is "Ambulance" which is not currently shown on this listing and combines the very best of British jazz with the great Us trumpeter Eddie Henderson.This is an album of originality, quality and seriously good musicianship.Led by bassist Arnie Somogyi with Paul Booth(saxes & bass clarinet),Rob townesend(saxes,flute & laptop),Tim Lapthorn(keyboards),Dave Smith(drums) and last but not least the great Eddie Henderson(trumpet)complete the lineup.This is fairly straight ahead stuff but with the addition of some minor sampling and effects plus some free blowing intros and interludes this gives the album an identity of it's own."Walkin wounded" is the pick of the tracks for me and is an up-tempo burner with Henderson and Townsend taking some hot solos which leads into "Mick the fish" which is a short,quiet contemplative piece giving you the feeling of being alone on a windswept beach."Don't improvise" is a great improvisational piece for bass clarinet and soprano sax to be creative while piano and bass do as the title suggests and don't improvise."Solace and "Serenity" are slower numbers with Paul Booth on soprano and Tim Lapthorn taking some beautiful solos with Lapthorn's being one of the best of the album in it's lyrical beauty.There are many other high points but i suggest you just buy the album yourself and you'll thank me for giving you the tip ! This is a great British jazz album in the straight ahead vein but with enough quirkiness and creativity for it to stand out on it's own.
Never heard of Ambulance? Neither had I, but (as any other SACD searcher/collector probably knows) multi-channel SACD recordings only seem to be made for Classical CD's these days. Why, is a mystery to me, because the few non-classical SACD recordings I do have (Dark Side of the Moon, Tommy, ...) are well worth the money. Moreover, some SACD versions of some non-classical albums are clearly sought after (such as Boys and Girls - Bryan Ferry, Morning Glory - Oasis, Machine Head - Deep Purple) and are sold for ridiculously high prices - why don't the manufacturers make more? Lastly there are other albums (such as Electric Ladyland - Jimmy Hendrix) that almost certainly would benefit if they could be remastered as 5.1. There are quite a lot of SACD 5.1 capable players in use that, like mine, were bought for DVD surround sound. <rant over>
So I was browsing LInn records to find out what new classical releases they had and noticed you could also search by Genre such as Rock, Folk and Jazz. So I checked out their Jazz releases. Most of them are either female singers (which I have nothing against - I have quite a few CD's like these) or SACD but a Stereo mix (might as well buy the CD - my ears are not THAT good). I liked the track samples for this album, but before buying from Linn at over a tenner, I checked out Amazon - and I went a the New/Used marketplace seller (about £7 New delivered as of today).
So the music: pleasant modern instrumental Jazz. But being jazz I guess whether you like it is a matter of taste. Go to LInn and listen to the samples.
Bass player Arnie Somogyi has been around the jazz scene for a while, evolving and changing, but this is his best effort yet. Even guest trumpet by the great Eddie Henderson only changes the flavour - the album would be great without him, "but different" as The Pine would say. There is plenty of light and shade, tone and full on improvisation, but this is an album I can listen to any time of day and enjoy something. There are "influences" - when are there not? - but I couldn't compare them with another contemporary outfit without being struck by the contrasts. But if you like Joshua Redman's "Momentum" try this. The only caution I have is that it took a few listenings before I appreciated how truly great this album is.
Originally heard one or two tracks on the radio with an interview and then ordered the disc. The radio plays were definitely the best. However, over all, the album is still a worthwhile addition to a jazz collection.