A LANDMARK recording. This solo piano album of Gwilym Simcock’s acts as his own dedication to players he loves and reveres (Billy Childs, Brad Mehldau, Egberto Gismonti, Russell Ferrante, etc) but also and just as significantly represents a one stop visit to the remarkable style and sound of this astonishing pianist’s artistry. Simcock has a big technique but that never gets in the way of his torrential flood of melodic ideas which often land never far from a rhapsody and at all times are delivered with tenderness and skill. Jazz does not get any better than this in 2019.
Lots of reedy powerplay at work here courtesy of the lively Wanja Slavin and Joris Roelofs, and it is always a pleasure to hear any band featuring Martin France on drums. Phil Donkin is a bassist’s bassist and in this band you can hear his talents better than most (check out his solo at the beginning of the title track, for instance, and later in the same track the ferocious beat Donkin conjures up in a driving tour de force).
Released on trombonist Nils Wogram’s label Nwog there is a teasing quality to a good deal of the writing, I suppose most of all on the fourth part of the ‘Zealot Suite’, and the way the tunes are shaped gives plenty of space for group work and a whole range of earthily spectacular solos. The sound recording quality is also first class.
That rare thing: a new trio and UK tour from 1990s UK jazz legend the singularly gifted saxophonist and composer Steve Williamson.
The trio, it’s Williamson with newcomers Hamish Moore on bass and Zoe Pascal on drums are touring with StringTing. The project features original new music by Williamson commissioned by Tomorrow’s Warriors with support from the PRS Foundation Open Fund.
Dates are Wed 1 May 2019, 7.45pm Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London; Fri 10 May 2019, 8pm, Turner Sims, Southampton; Sat 18 May 2019, 8pm CBSO Centre, Birmingham; Sun 19 May 2019, 7pm, Hallé St Michael’s, Manchester; Thurs 23 May 2019, 8pm St George’s, Bristol; Fri 24 May 2019, 7.30pm Gulbenkian Theatre, Canterbury; Sat 20 July 2019, 9pm Hull Jazz Festival.