Since The Brave released three years ago, Riepler, a skilled jam session leader, has moved on up.
It’s an all-new band on this latest album. The Austrian is standing with his guitar in what looks like Ridley Road market just off the Kingsland Road in Dalston, shoppers walking by behind him. On the back of the CD he’s in front of an open van that some of the street traders are using to ferry their stuff to and from the market.
Recorded in two stints in April and October last year in a London recording studio the tunes are mostly Riepler’s and they are extremely good: there’s no false impact to flirt with your senses – think Sco a bit, think Phil Robson too or Kurt Rosenwinkel at a push. Flow and in the moment narrative is key. Chris Cheek’s tenor sax provides reflectively dreamy liquidy lines expertly gauged and relayed within the group interplay. There are no jutting-out edges to cut your ears but this is not complacent music at all, everything bleeds. Cheek’s ‘Sailing Ships’ is also one of the eight tracks, the American joining Riepler, bassist Oli Hayhurst and drummer James Maddren to complete the line-up. Outside the jazz box the version of Beck’s ‘Modern Guilt’ is at the end. Rhyme the blues away.
Released on 5 February