Andy Shepphard – Movements in Colour

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COMPOSERS: Andy Shepphard
LABELS: ECM
PERFORMER: Andy Sheppard (sax), John Paricelli, Eivind Aarset (guitars), Arild Andersen (bass), Kuljit Bhamra (percussion)
CATALOGUE NO: 179 5042

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The album opens with a reprised yelping wail of the kind I’ve not heard since the heyday of pianist George Khan, but don’t be fooled; despite having been in the works for a while this is a subtle and well-balanced showcase for Sheppard’s current quintet, featuring music which is elegantly performed and sonically mellifluous.

This is his first disc for ECM and his natural melodic sense and textural skills are in their element in a sequence of pieces which range from gentle folkiness and Latin lilt to a yearning, quasi-symphonic approach which is gently elevated by Bhamra’s tabla.

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The twin-guitar idea works well, too (rumour has it that Sheppard is no stranger to the fretboard), adding a pleasing warmth and an agility to the music’s harmonic structure. Roger Thomas