The quartet play with a close attention to the detail of the complex rhythms and chord patterns

Ropeadope: RAD706

Duncan Eagles: saxophone; Tomasz Bura: piano / synth; Max Luthert: bass; Zoe Pascal: drums

No recording details

Eagles is well known for his exemplary playing in Partikel but also as a sideman to the most exciting acts on the UK contemporary scene. On this set he is joined by fellow Partikel member, Luthert, a drum-star from Portugal and a Polish piano maestro.

The mix of musicians also reflects a breadth of musical styles that the compositions move across. Each piece tells its own story, with exciting narrative twists and turns.

As Eagles explains in the press release, ‘I wanted to write music that pulls the listener into the music, like the experience when reading a book.’ For me, this was an apt metaphor as the music tells stories that have nuanced details and unexpected twists that are so much like the way a short story unfolds.

So often music is described as ‘cinematic’ but this is the antithesis to a broad-brush swell of sounds and the album’s title reflects this.

The quartet play with a close attention to the detail of the complex rhythms and chord patterns in Eagles’ compositions while also giving the impression that every move they make is fresh and spontaneous.

Take ‘Elden’, track 2, where the melodic and rhythmic lines seem to diverge and converge during the piece without either losing sight of the other but both having almost independent lives.

Across the set, Eagles’ burnished saxophone playing shines as he herds the other musicians and bustles tunes, like the opener ‘Grove Park’, through a relentless groove.

But he is not simply a master of sparkling post-bop bustle and can play a languid ballad, like ‘Rosebush’, track 6, with clarity, depth and emotion. This is quite stunning playing from all involved. The quartet are on tour on the next month or so and would be well worth catching if they come to a town near you.