…An extremely strong and striking album.

Self Release

Abbie Finn (drums & percussion); Harry Keeble (tenor saxophone); Paul Grainger (double bass)

Recorded July 2022

On Pink Lane is the third release from the Abbie Finn Trio and is an extremely strong and striking album. If Sonny Rollins set the standard and then laid down the gauntlet for the tenor/bass/drums trio line ups, then there have been no shortage musicians willing to take up the challenge.

In doing so, Abbie Finn and her excellent trio have evolved over a period of time into a formidable unit, and it therefore seems the right time for the drummer to present the band in a set of all original compositions.

As if taking their cue from Rollins the title track, ‘Big Old Spice Cabinet’ and ‘A Real Job’ are just the type of themes that Sonny would have enjoyed jumping off, and Keeble’s exuberance on these cuts is also clearly felt.

The drummer writes some good punchy themes, of which ‘North Sea Winds’ is fine example. After the theme bass and drums settle into a regular swing feel over which Keeble delivers a pithy and lyrical solo.

As a drummer Finn never feels the need to lead from the front, and her drumming is often a model of restraint. She lays down a solid groove for ‘So It’s True’ with some tasteful percussion that gives the composition a most cheerful disposition, and delights in a combative tenor and drum duet on ‘The Warren’.

The flip side of the coin is presented on the beautiful ballad, ‘Mirador De Los Poleos’ with tenor and bass taking the lead and featuring a sparkling dialogue, supported by Finn’s delicate brushwork. Keeble’s full toned tenor and stately delivery along with Paul Grainger’s sympathetic bass playing make this one of the standout tracks on the album.

Can’t close without mentioning ‘Jazz The Cat’, a superbly swinging hard bop number in which Keeble runs some impressive lines over the changes. This is one that brought a smile to my face and a lump to the throat as I did have a cat called Jazz.

Reviewed by Nick Lea