To reach this level of understanding and empathy takes time and continues to develop and flourish.

Whirlwind Recordings WR4799

Tim Garland (tenor, soprano & sopranino saxophones, bass clarinet); Jason Rebello (piano)

Recorded Spring & Summer 2022

There is much that goes into every great recording. From the musicians there is the compositions, the technical aspect of playing an instrument and most importantly the indefinable elements of trust and empathy; all of which can be heard and discovered in this remarkable album.

Rebello and Garland’s association and friendship goes back more than thirty years to the time they both spent studying at the Guildhall of Music and Drama. Since then, their musical lives, while at times converging have also followed different paths. Meetings in the interim, whether planned or by chance have continued to strengthen the musical bond, and this new recording finds them both at exciting stages of their respective careers and having plenty to discuss during this meeting of minds and spirit.

This is music that cannot be rushed. To reach this level of understanding and empathy takes time and continues to develop and flourish, and what we are presented with on this album is a series of pieces that encompass the gamut of human emotions.

The opening ‘Two To Go’ features a brief free jazz introduction complete with multiphonics from Garland’s tenor before giving way to Rebello’s piano riff and launching into the main with the saxophonist revealing the depth and beauty of his sound on the tenor.

In contrast is the low register rumbling of the bass clarinet and more foreboding sound of the piano on ‘No Hope No Tears’, which Garland’s mastery of the instrument shines through as the composition and subsequent improvisation explore the upper register and brings with it the light that is often found at the end of the tunnel.

Garland’s rarely heard sopranino saxophone is given an outing on his former boss’s composition, ‘Children’s Song No. 6’. The sopranino dances neatly and innocently through Chick Corea’s lovely tune with Rebello’s touch at the piano keeping the piece grounded and retaining the playfulness inherent in the music.

The ballads, As Free As The River’ and ‘Soul Resonance’ feature Garland’s tenor in exploratory mode on the former and a wistful contribution from Rebello, while the latter has the full toned sound of the saxophone in a deeply lyrical excursion. Rebello’s considered approach at the piano lending an air of gravitas that is perfectly in tune with Garland’s tentative solo.

A playful outing for soprano and piano is a joy to behold on ‘Samaii For Piece’ and the bass clarinet is given another thought-provoking outing on the traditional ‘Black Is The Colour’, bringing to a close this outstanding album.

Reviewed by Nick Lea