Emergence is sonorous confirmation of a major talent on the rise.
Paul Sullivan 2007
Experimental music fans may have already heard of London’s Loop Collective, a network of jazz musicians dedicated to developing original and creative music.
Though the group is fairly young, it already counts more than a dozen core members and the same number of bands, including Curve, Blink, Fraud, La Fereme, Outhouse and Qualia.
Amongst the starlets included in the collective is Jim Hart, a Cornwall-born multi-instrumentalist, who won the 2006 British Jazz award for 'Rising star', and who has mixed it up with everyone from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (for whom he played drums for a couple of years) to hipsters like The Herbaliser and Shaun Escoffery.
For his latest band project, Gemini, Hart teams up with fellow Loopsters Ivo Neame (sax), Mick Coady (bass) and Dave Smith (drums) to deliver a sparkling foray into 21st century jazz. Despite being competent on drums, piano and vibes, it’s the latter instrument that Hart focuses on here, with Coady and Skinner providing a scintillating rhythm section.
Although it comes across as a reasonably straightforward jazz album, the songs on Emergence are infused with a certain sense of swinging modernism, veering from free-wheeling freestyles to stylish swingers and brimming ballads.
The cool swing of "So You Said," boasts some labyrinthine twists and turns, as do complex compositions such as “Liner Notes" and “The Code". Tracks like “Checkout,” meanwhile, are pleasingly janglesome, and showcase Neame's impressive sax skills.
The Latinesque title track adds a little spice to the mix, and there are several slower tunes too, such as "Sophonax " - a lush and melancholy ballad that lingers in the air for just the right amount of time.
Emergence is sonorous confirmation of a major talent on the rise. No doubt we will be hearing a lot more first-class material from Mr. Hart – and his Loop compatriots – in the very near future.