COMPOSERS: The Impossible Gentlemen
LABELS: Basho Records
ALBUM TITLE: The Impossible Gentlemen
WORKS: Let’s Get Deluxe
PERFORMER: Mike Walker (guitar), Gwilym Simcock (piano, keyboards), Iain Dixon (saxophones etc), Steve Rodby (bass) etc
CATALOGUE NO: SRCD 51-2
For this album, the Gents say they aimed to widen their palette, giving emphasis to counter-melodies and bringing in additional timbres – the latter achieved by Simcock adding brass and additional percussion here and there, and by augmenting the group to a quintet, drafting in Dixon on various reeds and woodwinds. To my taste, the additional clarinets, flutes and horns (French and flugel) are a welcome textural improvement.
Another change since their last CD release has Rodby replacing Steve Swallow. What hasn’t changed is the immediate appeal of Simcock and Walker’s compositions and the clever and appealing improvisations. Despite the often complex nature of the music, it often achieves a refreshing spaciousness, and there is a variety of moods, from the heavy, funky ‘Dog Time’ to the lyrical ‘Simple Goodbye’, a heartfelt tribute to the late great British pianist John Taylor, and the lively Celtic tang of ‘Propane Jane’.