Everything played stems from its source, the compositions, and each is crafted to evoke a mood or sense of space and place.
New Leaf NL003
Josephine Davies (soprano & tenor saxophones); Joss Peach (piano, percussion & voice); Terry Pack (double bass & voice); Angus Bishop (drums & percussion)
With Kate Hogg (flute & alto flute on Tr. 3 & 4); Michelle Andrews Bb clarinet & bass clarinet on Tr. 3 & 7)
Recorded 1st & 2nd November 2022
This is an excellent and exquisite album that places the emphasis on the relationship between each of the musicians of the quartet and the innate sense of melody that is the thread that ties these wonderful pieces together.
After disbanding the Full Circle trio in 2014, bassist Terry Pack has been keen not to let the band simply disappear and has reconvened, this time as a quartet. In doing so, the music is a vital and exciting view, from the perspective of the composers, of the South Downs National Park.
Much of the music was written during the pandemic, but there is no sense of loneliness in the music just the beauty and vibrancy of the natural world.
One of the endearing factors of the music presented here is that the quartet do not rely on pyrotechnics or wildly dramatic excursions by the soloists. Everything played stems from its source, the compositions, and each is crafted to evoke a mood or sense of space and place.
This is almost tangible on ‘Cathedral’ written by Terry Pack and Joss Peach. ‘The Dance of the Dragonfly’ is beautifully evoked by the flute and clarinets of Kate Hogg and Michelle Andrews along with the soprano saxophone of Josephine Davies which skitters lightly in her solo before gradually building in intensity.
Joss Peach turns in another lovely piece in ‘Selborne’ with its tight and compact theme and a gently swinging solo that feeds into an authoritative tenor solo from Davies who brings forth a lovely big sound from the horn that she can also drop to a whisper when required.
While not implying that this is a competition of any description, the Terry Pack wades in with two exceptional pieces of his own in the ballad ‘Seven Sisters’ and ‘La Belle Dame de Belle Tout’ with his bass introduction and then leads on to features some wonderful playing from drummer, Angus Bishop. Josephine Davies takes an exciting and expansive tenor solo, and the presence of Peach is required to release the tension that has built up with his flowing improvisation.
Looking at possibilities beyond the quartet with different voices and textures, Terry Pack again calls on the services of the bass clarinet on ‘Chalk and Flint’ while Joss Peach brings Kate Hogg into the mix for ‘River Runs’, all of which bodes well for the future of The Full Circle project to continue to develop either as quartet or a larger ensemble.