Winning sound of hard bop with a touch of cool
Josephine Davies Quintet: Perspective (Trio Records)
A relative newcomer to the UK scene, Josephine Davies won the 1999 Perrier Young Jazz Award while still a student at the Guildhall School of Music. Here she leads a quintet in six of her own compositions -- unpretentious music rooted in hard bop with a touch of cool.
The Picasso Suite is the most ambitious, more than 15 minutes long and divided into three movements. The leader's full, rich tone on tenor blends attractively with Robson's trumpet, and the group in general is nicely integrated.
The second track, Quixotic, is in a lively Latin beat, with percussive piano and strong bass and drums. The wistful mood dominates in the next three tunes. The final number, The Brink, is more upbeat, with good solos all round, crisp drumming and staccato effects. Look out for these five young musicians.
On the local live front, JJ Smyth's introduces the oddly-named RedivideR group tonight. Led by drummer Matt Jacobsen, it has Nick Roth (alto sax), Colm O'Hara (trombone) and Derek Whyte (bass).
Next Sunday night, also in JJ's, Mike Nielsen (acoustic guitar) leads a group called Frisk Verden, Danish for Fresh World. Ellen Demos (vocals) makes a return visit from her base in Brussels, and the group is completed by Brendan Doyle (clarinet) and Shane O'Donovan (drums).