Trish Clowes: My Iris

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Trish Clowes
ALBUM TITLE: Trish Clowes
WORKS: My Iris
PERFORMER: Trish Clowes (sax), Chris Montague (guitar), Ross Stanley (piano and hammond), James Maddren (drums)


Trish Clowes is a former Radio 3 New Generation Artist, but this is a distinction she has no need to trade on as this latest CD demonstrates that all earlier promise continues to be roundly realised. Her previous album, Pocket Compass (reviewed Christmas 2014) explored the potential in mixing jazz line-ups with classical ensembles and integrating composition and improvisation. With this latest album she continues to explore quirky harmonies and textures with a group that looks fairly conventional in jazz terms, but is used in distinctive ways.

Like most contemporary saxophonists, she tends to use the soprano rather too much for my taste, but that’s my problem. On each of her saxes she continues to arrive at satisfyingly foreseeable destinations by surprising, inventive and absorbing routes. The inspirations behind the compositions (all hers except one) are varied and thought-provoking, realised in engrossing group performances that engage the head, heart and feet.


Barry Witherden