I meant to write about the next batch of AMP releases before Christmas, but life got in the way. And I’ve loads more to listen to as well, so this will part part of a series…
Anyway, I really like these.
This is lively straight ahead jazz from this drummer-led quartet, expanded to a quintet with Franck’s tenor joining the saxes of Marc Doffey. It is an exciting debut, full of life and energy. Mostly upbeat and high powered, there is an exquisite ballad duo between Doffey and bass player Julian Haugland on Skylark, and a lovely version of A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square.
This record is quieter, maybe more thoughtful. It has a sparse, gentle feeling – introspective but optimistic. There’s a lot of space in the music, but it is also lively. There is some lovely music here.
Another quartet expanded to a quintet, this time by the addition of saxophonist Chris Cheek, Gagliardi’s record contains thoughtful music with emotional depth. Some tunes swing beautifully, others have a smooth quality that if full of warmth.
This trio comprises trumpet, bass and drums. The music they make is open and sparse. The haunting trumpet brought to mind Verneri Pohjola. There’s some use of samples and multi tracking to fill out the sound on a couple of tracks, and a couple of tracks include wordless vocals. Mostly though it is just the three instruments, and barely those – the drums for one pricing that less really can be more. Just beautiful.
This octet is formed from a jazz quartet and a string quartet. And the music they play understandably fuses the two genres. The jazz element includes Sondre Ferstad’s harmonica playing, indicating that this is a very different kind of a band. Minimal is just that – it might be an octet, but few of the musicians play at any one time. More introspective, thoughtful music.