COMPOSERS: The Impossible Gentlemen
LABELS: Basho Records
ALBUM TITLE: The Impossible Gentlemen: Internationally Recognised Aliens
WORKS: Internationally Recognised Aliens
PERFORMER: Mike Walker (guitar), Gwilym Simcock (piano), Steve Swallow, Steve Rodby (bass), Adam Nussbaum (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: SRCD43-2
Being a band of this calibre with two albums out isn’t a situation I’d wish on anyone, as it only takes the slightest critical nudge to imply that one must be better than the other. As it turns out, this band’s second release wisely dodges the issue by simply being different.
All except one of these group-specific compositions are credited to Simcock and/or Walker and emphasise elegant group interaction more than overt fireworks, not that there aren’t imaginative solos scattered across this well-conceived set. The music touches plenty of generic bases, from rhythmic funk to contemplative ballads with the occasional nod to what might even be prog rock, but there’s far too much collective imagination to allow things to descend into ‘jazz fake book’-style busking.
In addition, second bassist Rodby also produces, letting some useful breathing space into the music that the first album sometimes lacked. An undeniably fine follow-up.