COMPOSERS: Henry Lowther
LABELS: Village Life
ALBUM TITLE: Henry Lowther’s Stillwaters
PERFORMER: Henry Lowther’s Stillwaters: Henry Lowther (t, flg), Julian Argüelles (saxes), Pete Saberton (p), Dave Green (b), Paul Clarvis (d, perc)
CATALOGUE NO: MRFD 97122 VL
Despite having been generally regarded as one of the UK’s most skilful and dependable trumpeters for over three decades – jazz credits include stints with everyone from George Russell to Mike Westbrook, and he even played at Woodstock with Keef Hartley –Henry Lowther has not made an album as leader since 1969. This aptly named band features him alongside two soloists, in reedsman Julian Argüelles and pianist Pete Saberton, who match Lowther for elegance, thoughtfulness and lucidity, and the rhythm section – bassist Dave Green and inventive percussionist Paul Clarvis – provide appropriately discreet support.
Lowther’s compositions range from still, clear themes to bright, bustling vehicles for collective exploration occasionally touching on free improvisation, and, fleshed out with a couple of standards and a touching version of ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’, this is a triumphant – if somewhat overdue – return to the recording limelight for one of the UK’s most respected musicians. Chris Parker