Dave Stapleton Quintet: Between the Lines

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COMPOSERS: Dave Stapleton Quintet
LABELS: Edition
PERFORMER: Dave Stapleton (piano), Ben Waghorn (sax), Jonny Bruce (trumpet), Paula Gardiner (bass), Elliot Bennett (drums)


This is Welsh-based pianist Dave Stapleton’s third recorded outing with his Quintet (DSQ), the last being a tough act to follow – with its haunting final track ‘Aquamarine’. On this latest disc ‘Horn’ stands out, as it were – its name referencing Derek and Clive (the risqué personas of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore).

Here Ben Waghorn’s wallowing bass clarinet showcases the diversity of a player who is equally at home with latin-jazz outfit Sirius B. ‘Wig Wag’ kicks off with a Sonny Rollins-style chord progression, and while the band have a blast, Stapleton keeps the beat edgy and contemporary before descending into a more creepy realm.


Elsewhere, the pianist excels on moody classically tinged piano work with rasping nu-jazz growl aplenty from his soloists. Setting up Edition Records in 2008, Stapleton has gathered a host of top UK jazz talent. One of the finest on the books being his own Quintet –  as demonstrated here. Neil McKim