Julian Argüelles: Circularity

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COMPOSERS: Julian Arguelles
LABELS: Cam Jazz
ALBUM TITLE: Julian Argüelles: Circularity
WORKS: Circularity
PERFORMER: Julian Argüelles (sax), Dave Holland (bass), John Taylor (piano), Martin France (drums)


They look like four chaps having a genial day out at a National Trust house on the cover of Julian Argüelles’s new CD. Maybe it’s symbolic, because the players are national treasures and many of the pieces here – all composed by the leader – have an English, almost pastoral feel to them. The guys go well together: elder statesmen Taylor and Holland put a stamp of class on everything they touch, while France and Argüelles were founder members of the rowdy Loose Tubes collective 30 years ago.

Argüelles has matured since those heady days into one of the finest sax players on the scene, and an in-demand soloist in big ensembles. This set reminds us how he can lead a small group. Switching between a smoky, mournful improvisatory style on tenor sax and clear folkloric lines on soprano, his playing, raised up by generous open-eared support from the group, is simply beautiful.


Garry Booth