LABELS: Ronnie Scott’s Jazz House
PERFORMER: Dave Green (b), Iain Dixon (ts, cl, b cl), Gene Calderazzo (d)
CATALOGUE NO: JHCD 061
Dave Green is one of the finest jazz double bassists Britain has ever produced, and he has been so constantly in demand that it was only in 1998 that he formed the above trio and found time to record the 12 tracks of Time Will Tell.
Although he is now in his late fifties, this is, amazingly, his first album under his own name. With no piano or guitar, this is a very exacting context, but Green lays a sure foundation for the mixture of standards and originals, and Dixon and Calderazzo are also remarkable musicians.
The opening ‘I Hear a Rhapsody’ is a swaggering performance with such urgency and invention in Dixon’s tenor solo and Green’s superlative bass lines, plus Calderazzo’s subtle use of sticks and brushes, that the eight-minute performance passes in a flash. Other highlights are the ineffably tender title track, featuring Dixon’s clarinet, Green’s ‘Licks’, a tricky theme played by bass and tenor based on rhythm changes, which generates a storming performance.
Dixon contributes three excellent compositions, including the funky and emotive ‘Ellie’s Wellies’, which features his great bass clarinet-playing. There are also three short collectively improvised pieces including ‘Mo-bile’, a hilarious freak-out against mobile phones. It may be late, but this is a thrilling debut.