COMPOSERS: Tim Whitehead
LABELS: Home Made
PERFORMER: Tim Whitehead (saxophone), Liam Noble (piano), Milo Fell (drums), Oli Hayhurst (bass)
CATALOGUE NO: Home Made HMR 051
This disc chronicles the band’s first set at Soho’s Pizza Express on 13 July 2007. An unedited, real-time, unmixed performance by a working band is almost the Holy Grail in jazz CDs these days, so this album is welcome for that alone.
Whitehead is on good form, and it’s nice to hear at least some improvisations developed in the old-fashioned way, with each idea leading to a new one, rather than the currently too-common rondo-style variations that suggest the music has one foot nailed to the floor and can only move in circles.
The recording is clean without losing the atmosphere of a live gig, aided by cries of ‘happy birthday’ after the title track, which leads into the first of three Whitehead originals, a funky salute to himself incorporating an excellent piano solo.