Tom Dennison - Zoo (2011)
Artist: Tom Dennison
Title Of Album: Zoo
Year Of Release: 17-11-2011
Label: Rattle Music Limited
Quality: 320 Kbps
Total Time: 53:50 min
Total Size: 122 MB
1. Stingray 9:07
2. Owl 6:58
3. Angler 9:37
4. Llama 8:31
5. Cat 7:35
6. Antelope 6:26
7. The Secret History Of Islands 5:35
The debut under bassist Tom Dennison's name is made up of seven post-bop tracks which are classy, refined, fluid, democratically distributed among the soloists and at times usefully challenging.
This is a young band but has already accrued considerable experience, and not just in jazz. Tom Dennison has played with Alan Broadbent and Mike Nock (two very different learning experiences) and has played in a trio and quartet with guitarist Peter Koopman for many years. He was also in a high school band with pianist Steven Barry who is here, then later played in Frank Gibson's Hardbopmobile and more recently spent time in New York studying and playing.
Drummer Alex Freer has a sideline in the excellent rock band Artisan Guns (and as a session player of rock and pop albums), saxophonist Roger Manins has appeared in numerous contexts, and Tom Dennison played in his Quintet.
They have been schooled in studios and on stage, and known their way around standards. But here they stretch themselves from midnight blue ballads (Cat where Roger Manins' warm and woody-sounding sax takes you to the window to look down on rain-splashedstreets) to vigorous and angular pieces (Llama which Steven Barry opens with spare lines and opens out into cleverly rhythmic pulses and stop-start punctuations).
Throughout you can hear myriad, subtle influences (fluid guitarists like John Abercrombie, minimalism which opens Antelope before it sprints away over driving drums, bass and Barry's flighty piano solo, hard-bop honking and energy from Roger Manins on the opener Stingray) but the album is more than the sum of these parts.
This is an assured, often swinging, constant revelation and it closes with the thoughtful, romantically melancholy Secret History Of Islands - a piece which you'd hope might point to another album of similarly refined conception from some or all of these players.
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