I am writing this review to give those excellent musicians and their compositions their due; they do deserve indeed a 5 star rating for this fantastic second album. There are many influences that can be heard throughout the record (funk, jazz, rock, Latin) the result of diverse jazz universes colliding into a fantastic plethora of sounds and harmonies. I'll let the listener discover the rich tapestry of styles rather than drop famous names to ease the comparison. These guys are far too good to be reduced to a few references. The playing is virtuosic, the music beautiful and direct with great subtleties that will keep you coming back for more. The harmonic and rhythmic approach is incredibly exciting and fresh. You can sense a great love for jazz music throughout the album, and the beautiful ballad that closes the album is a lovely statement in that regard. The band's great synergy makes for high quality music with a ton of energy and enjoyment. Hold on to your hats chaps! And thank you gentlemen!
The supergroup surpasses its first faltering steps. The blurb tells us this collection was written for the project while the eponymous first album consisted of pieces the members brought to the party and I reckon it shows. Hangs together better although more diverse. It is very much a studio creation, controlled and perceived as a whole (at least by me) and has the virtues and vices this brings. The Crank suffers but little from the Steve Swallow narration, and perhaps could not stand without it. It is less a post-modern joke than a shaggy dog story on which to hang the music. All in all a step on from the first outing and I look forward to the live double CD recorded at Ambleside (in my dreams).
Not a re-run of the first album, but a development of a "sound" for the Gents. Strong tunes, but more suited to the band as a whole - some of Mike Walker's tunes on the last album had been performed previously by other ensembles. This album shows the band with more of an identity, even on the tunes with both bassplayers where you'd think that there might be something of a "stopgap" going on. But no, everything flows musically.
excellent and fluent playing on good compositions..some great grooves and a wide selection of styles..all playing well. Solos often a bit short [concise?] so the players' ability to stretch ideas and develop these into new and exciting worlds are cut short, unlike when they appear 'live'. Also a 'humorous' track with a story overstays its welcome... hearing the same 'amusing' joke over and over again rarely pays dividends- it is steve swallow 'impersonating' a curmudgeon.. a postmodern joke about a joke?..... Judicious editing, fewer tracks with more expansive solos might be the way forward....