Jay Phelps,Nathaniel Facey,Kit Downes,Neil Charles,Shaney Forbes

COMPOSERS: Jay Phelps,Kit Downes,Nathaniel Facey,Neil Charles,Shaney Forbes
LABELS: Destin-E Records
ALBUM TITLE: Empirical
WORKS: Empirical
PERFORMER: Jay Phelps (trumpet), Nathaniel Facey (saxophone), Kit Downes (piano), Neil Charles (bass), Shaney Forbes (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: 777 001001001
Harmolodics is the theory of jazz improvisation founded and propounded by Ornette Coleman. On the strength of this impressive debut, the young London-based five-piece Empirical had no problem getting their head around it.

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Empirical’s original compositions are not so asymmetrical and there are stronger melodies to hold on to, compared to Coleman’s. But their music does have similarly startling cross-currents in the interplay. Their sound harks back to the early 1960s too, with Facey mocking on the alto in the manner of Coleman.

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But this isn’t a tribute album and Empirical seem to be using Coleman here as a launch pad for their own distinctive thing: the shape of British jazz to come, perhaps. Garry Booth