I really enjoyed it.
Dave Sear – trombone; Percy Pursglove – trumpet; Elliott Sansom – piano; James Owston – bass; Jim Bashford – drums
I didn’t know that 73 percent of musicians show some signs of mental illness. Dave Sear bravely admits he’s dealt with depression and anxiety in the liner notes to his debut album I Always Thought My Thoughts Were Me. He thanks jazz for helping him cope.
Don’t think for a minute that the music on this album is depressing. Another reviewer called ‘Reservoir Retreat ’hard bop. To me it sounds more like a New Orleans brass band with its collective improvisation, its repeated rhythmic syncopation, and the use of a pentatonic scale.
Percy Pursglove’s trumpet sounds great when he plays with the quintet. I thought of Freddie Hubbard when I heard him. His flamboyant solos tend to go a bit over the top.
Everyone in the quintet has a connection to the Birmingham Conservatoire; either as a student or teacher. Dave Sear found the perfect piano man in Elliott Sansom. His playing is a joy, and he swings like crazy.
The title track ‘I Always Thought My Thoughts Were Me’ is first class hard bop. These guys have a real sense of the jazz tradition. Jim Basford on drums and James Owston on bass are a terrific rhythm section.
Another hard bop tune ‘Visual Balance’ let’s Dave Sear lead things off with a beautiful trombone solo. His playing is right along the lines of J.J. Johnson, the father of modern trombone players.
‘Eyes That Speak A Thousand Words’ slow things down a bit. It’s contemplative. James Owston’s bass sets the pace and Bashford’s cymbals keep time. Percy Pursglove show what a fine trumpet player he is. The two horn players are great together.
Sear arranged ‘In Your Own Sweet Way ’by Dave Brubeck, ‘Inner Urge ’by Joe Henderson, plus the six tunes that he wrote himself. He’s a great arranger, song writer, and bandleader.
I want to thank Dave Sear for recording I Always Thought My Thoughts Were Me. I really enjoyed it.
Reviewed by Tim Larsen