There is no hint of overdubbing here and the recording feels very much a live, and lively, capturing of a trio at the peak of its powers.
Richard Jones: piano; Joshua Cavanagh-Brierly: double bass; Johnny Hunter: drums
Recorded 12th June 2022 by Olly Sansom at Sansom Studios, Birmingham
By sheer coincidence, I am reviewing this album exactly 12 months since its recording, having spent the day working in Birmingham. From first listen, I was struck by the seamlessness with which Jones’ switches between musical styles and genres.
Even in a couple of bars, there is a fierce post-bop barrage of notes, a gently lyrical classical motif, and a chord sequence that could have come from Swing. Bass and drums consistently work the rhythms that are hinted in the piano lines and provide a scaffold that continually rebuilds itself into different shapes and patterns.
After the relaxation of lockdown regulations in 2021, the trio regrouped in the same rehearsal space to develop their individual approaches to composition and improvisation, and their collective response to these approaches. Composing duties are shared, albeit with Jones taking the lion’s share, and there is an elegant symmetry in Jones providing 3 pieces, Hunter providing 2, and Cavanagh-Brierly providing 1.
While the credits are to individuals, each piece has significant co-creation and improvisation. The pieces themselves feel more like sketches in which particular motifs or short chord sequences or rhythmic patterns are presented to the trio for them to build from.
The six tracks were recorded in a single day. This is testament to the familiarity that the trio have with each other, which allows quite complex pieces to be recorded in one or two takes. There is no hint of overdubbing here and the recording feels very much a live, and lively, capturing of a trio at the peak of its powers.