Seven Moments

COMPOSERS: Ed Jones
LABELS: ASC
ALBUM TITLE: Ed Jones
PERFORMER: Ed Jones (ss,ts), Mika Mylläri (t), Jonathan Gee (p), Geoff Gascoyne (b), Winston Clifford (d), Nichol Thomson (tb)
CATALOGUE NO: CD 50

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The Ed Jones Quintet (this band minus the trombone that features on two tracks only) is the sort of combo you stumble across in the foyer of the Royal Festival Hall, or after hours in an obscure jazz club, and immediately feel blessed to be there. Its jazz, best put in that large pigeon-hole marked ‘post-bop’, is always bright, punchy and welcoming. But this recording shows that the Jones boys are beginning to do more than swap grandstanding choruses.

Though the opener, ‘Kickstart’, is a typical, rumbustious, collective EJQ improvisation, the music gains more depth and breadth as the set progresses. Trumpeter Mika Mylläri’s ‘Blue Reflections’ has an orchestral feel and forces both the composer and Jones to play more oblique lines. ‘Out of Chaos’, also by Mylläri, starts tentatively, with flurries of notes from Jones’s tenor eventually coalescing with more strident trumpet figures.

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Again, the writing and the playing steer away from the obvious straightahead possibilities – yet retains an immediate rhythmic appeal. The EJQ could have stayed in the mainstream, but they’ve chosen to carefully edge out into more turbulent waters – and it suits them. Garry Booth