Various: Clark Tracy Quintet: The Mighty SAS

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

LABELS: Tentoten
ALBUM TITLE: Clark Tracy Quintet: The Mighty SAS
WORKS: Clark Tracy Quintet: The Mighty SAS
PERFORMER: Clark Tracy Quintet
Two horns and a rhythm section – same old hard-bop small-group line-up, but there’s still a lot to say with it, and Clark Tracey’s band here come up with plenty of fresh remarks. Aside from a slinky take on Nat Adderley’s ‘Nippon Soul’, the tracks are originals from all hands, and they’re beautifully handled. Zoe Rahman’s ‘The Camel’ sounds like it’s set up in an uncountable time, but Tracey’s amazing drumming makes light of a task that might have foxed most sticksmen. Simon Allen’s ‘Online Slam’ is spun off a never-ending melody line that finally leads to a hypnotic fade. And Clark’s own tunes have the meat and matter of a writer who’s long since matured into a thoughtful and effective craftsman. The playing is of as high an order as the compositions, consistently hot and pungent, though the studio sound seems a bit tight and dry, so turn it up. Richard Cook