COMPOSERS: Gwilym Simcock
LABELS: Basho Records
ALBUM TITLE: Perception
PERFORMER: Gwilym Simcock (piano), Phil Donkin (bass), Martin France (drums), Stan Sulzmann (saxophone); John Parricelli (guitar); Ben Bryant (percussion)
CATALOGUE NO: SRCD 24-2
British pianist Gwilym Simcock is the first jazz musician to be given a BBC Radio 3 Young Generation Artist award. It isn’t surprising that he was the first to push through: he has the right stuff. A prodigiously gifted jazz improviser, he plays with a precise and poised classical touch. But Simcock also has that jazz thing, a two-handed ability to plot his lines so that the hammers fall fractionally after your ear anticipates them, constantly creating delicious suspense that is always satisfyingly resolved.
This debut album, with eight toothsome originals included in the ten numbers, shows him to be a terrific composer too. He can swing it like Abdullah Ibrahim or get introspective like Keith Jarrett. And on the strength of his treatment for ‘The Way You Look Tonight’, add arranging to his portfolio. Simcock has made the complete album, but Perception doesn’t sound like a demo or a showcase. It is more like a superb statement of intent.