COMPOSERS: Courtney Pine
PERFORMER: Courtney Pine (bass clarinet, synths), Zoe Rahman (piano), Alec Dankworth (bass), Mark Mondesir, Robert Fordjour (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: 777C006006
Courtney Pine’s recent switch to the bass clarinet, ‘an instrument with no barriers’, put him on a quest to find the scales, sounds and vibes that would take him out of the ordinary. He gave us a taste with last year’s homage to Sidney Bechet – but with Europa the creative floodgates are now well and truly open. For this extraordinary project, Pine loots European history from Turkey to Ireland for arrangements, time metres and melodies.
Augmenting the outstanding core quartet with the sensational Cuban violinist Omar Puente and Cameron Pierre on mandolin, Pine produces music that is vivid, rooted and totally absorbing. By delving deep into the limitless tonal potential of the bass clarinet, Pine has picked up where John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy left off. Like them he’s taking jazz to another level. But unlike them, perhaps, he’s taking us with him. Garry Booth