The London trio capitalise on their newly-found rapport.
Martin Longley 2008-03-20
The day after this London trio completed an intensive UK tour, they were in the studio, capitalising on their freshly-grown rapport.
On Tuesday, 20th November 2006, the three were in and out swiftly, no doubt cutting these tracks with only one or two takes each.
Tom Arthurs plays flügel horn and trumpet, also penning the material, creating the impression that he's given bassist Jasper Høiby and drummer Stu Ritchie some very fixed instructions on their realisation. Not that the trio's interplay sounds anywhere near self-conscious or enforced. The Arthurs taste involves a penchant for near-silence, pauses, peterings and sudden ejaculations. His head appears to be visualising an orchestral spread, which he proceeds to direct with the reduced resources of a trio. It's difficult to discern which tracks feature flügel or trumpet, as the Arthurs tone is peppered and dusty with a near-constancy. His dottings are as adept as those of Høiby and Ritchie, with dexterous basslines and fiddly percussion inhabiting the closely-related living space, mimicking the compressed sounds found within a cramped tourbus.
This innate togetherness often leads towards bouts of swarming activity, but alternatively, Up From Sloth opens with a hesitant horn fanfare, joined by hearty bass plunking, and marshaling drums, pushing off into chopping and dicing action. Several pieces will pause for contemplation, before entering a different phase, relishing microscopic symbiosis, and moving from contemplative serenity towards frantic pursuit of simultaneous musical avenues. Arthurs saves one of his very best tunes for the end, with the album's closing Second Base possessing a particular potential for jazz standard hummability.