COMPOSERS: Sean Hargreaves
LABELS: Terrapin TRPN
PERFORMER: Sean Hargreaves (p), Andy Cleyndert (b), Tristan Mailliot (d)
CATALOGUE NO: 2001 (distr. 0171 281 3465)
Some old timers feel that too many young players write their own material – and are then allowed to record it, at length. Certainly, the secondhand bins of jazz stores are filled with the pretentious meanderings of kids fresh out of Berklee who think nothing of filling their CD liners with earnest dedications to Uncle Tom Cobbly and all.
It is refreshing to hear, therefore, this understated debut from 26 year old British pianist Sean Hargreaves. Sure, Hargreaves did briefly attend Berklee and the menu of ten pieces here does include eight self-penned originals, but they are short and he gets quickly to the point. Hargreaves has a bright sound which comes mostly off the dancing right hand.
On the upbeat numbers his lines are purposeful and the improvisation has a lateral, easy logic to it. Ballads are handled very lightly, Hargreaves sometimes disconnecting entirely, leaving the melody pleasantly hanging. The title track, a more robust reggae-fied piece, makes good use of his well baited, simple hooks.
Cleyndert and Mailliot get nicely between the cracks. Other major label dubutantes would do well to note Hargreaves’ approach – especially the absence of a tedious "thanks to" list in the liner. Garry Booth