Neon: Here To There

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Stan Sulzmann
LABELS: Basho
WORKS: Neon
PERFORMER: Stan Sulzmann (sax), Jim Hart (vibraphone), Gwilym Simcock (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: SRCD 23-2

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Jazz is notorious for its generational apartheid, with the likes of the Jazz Messengers, Earthworks and Simon Spillett’s veteran sidemen being exceptions, so it’s a genuine joy to hear this trio reminding us of how unnecessary that whole mindset is.

As the instrumentation might imply, this is an album of lively but lyrical ballads, all original and of a high standard. Whether or not this is attributable to the trans-generational nature of the beast, it’s undeniable that Sulzmann avoids the over-predictable, while Hart and Simcock eschew the college-jazz inanities that are often the bane of their generation.

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The result is a concentrated set of pieces which manage to be both highly adventurous and listenable both musically and in terms of sound quality. If you liked Gary Burton’s work with Chick Corea, you’ll love this. Roger Thomas