COMPOSERS: Andrew McCormack
ALBUM TITLE: Andrew McCormack: First Light
WORKS: First Light
PERFORMER: Andrew McCormack (piano), Zack Lober (bass), Colin Stranahan (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: EDN1052
Recent publicity suggests that McCormack is now at the pinnacle of his compositional and pianistic powers. That remains to be seen (he may scale greater heights in the future) but if he never achieves anything better than this album he has ample reason to be proud. The opener, ‘Prospect Park’, is a joyous, dancing piece which engages you. It’s followed by ‘Gotham Soul’, a slow, slightly mysterious ballad edged with a rueful feel. This features a thoughtful, melodic solo by Lober, as does ‘Leap of Faith’, which reminds me a little of the work of the late, great, unjustly overlooked Mike Taylor. McCormack continues to ring the changes in mood, structure and tempo, making for a constantly interesting programme.
The considerable degree of balance and integration of melody, harmony and rhythm, of composition and improvisation, of exploration, individuality and tradition is impressively maintained throughout.