Tom Green Septet – Tipping Point (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 57:55 minutes | 617 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Spark 008
Trombonist Tom Green has been exerting a wholesome influence for the good on the UK jazz scene for some years now: as well as creating employment opportunities for his fellow young jazz artists by pursuing a busy schedule as bandleader and arranger, he’s joint boss of the Spark! label whose mission statement is ‘to support emerging jazz and creative music artists’: this is the second release for his own septet, with a line-up populated by an impressive array of bandleaders, composers and performers and fellow Royal Academy graduates who are also personal friends: and 20% of proceeds are to go to various charities dedicated to restoring the forests across the world.
However, this isn’t an academic exercise in worthiness or an exhibition display of chops: the band as as tight, responsive and accomplished as you might expect, but the album derives its power and character from the quality of the compositions, all written by Green (apart from an imaginative expansion on Joni Mitchell’s ‘My Old Man’) and evidencing a thorough command of the band’s resources, a sure feel for melody and a real breadth of emotional engagement. The contrapuntal voices and big brassy chords of ‘Kaleidoscope’ demonstrate how Green makes the most out of the four-horn line-up to create a breadth of textures that imply a much larger line-up: all the soloists excel, from Tommy Andrew’s cuttingly bittersweet alto on ‘Tipping Point; to Sam Miles’ tenor workout on ‘Jack O Lantern’ while the rhythm team revel in the challenges of the material and audibly delight in being as precise or flamboyant as the occasion demands – check drummer Chapman’s workout on the end of the phrygian Gil Evans flavoured ‘Kaleidoscope’. Green’s trombone is full-toned and nimble, sitting nicely alongside Mullo-Abbado’s equally precise and athletic bass, and pianist Sam James fills out the arrangements adroitly and impresses with his dynamic sensitivity on features like ‘Champagne Sky’ – his trades with Mullov-Abaddo on ‘Jack O Lantern’ are a delight. There’s an impressive attention to detail in the arrangements but they flow very naturally and never sound fussy or cluttered, and the sense of comradeship and benign good intentions comes across very clearly even in the complexity of ‘Jack O’Lantern’ which still retains an almost folkloric melodicism. Uplifting music for these trying times.
1. Tom Green Septet – Tipping Point
2. Tom Green Septet – Champagne Sky
3. Tom Green Septet – Kaleidoscope
4. Tom Green Septet – Between Now And Never
5. Tom Green Septet – Seatoller
6. Tom Green Septet – My Old Man
7. Tom Green Septet – Jack O’ Lantern
8. Tom Green Septet – Chorale