Law surfaced first in 2013 with Entanglement an album that certainly made scene-watchers at the time sit up and take note of the hitherto little known guitarist.
Zero Sum World is even more accomplished, particularly in the writing department, well shaped, a little less oblique, and even bittersweet say on ‘Waltz,’ or the delightful ‘Leafcutter.’
Switching to new label Whirlwind, the guitarist’s latest “maths jazz” album (essentially metrically advanced post-MBASE in style but with a more melodic pastoral side to it) a zero sum game, a dictionary will tell you is being in a game or relationship in which a gain for one side entails an equivalent loss for the other side. That of course means nothing in terms of the music but bearing the metaphor in mind it’s far from the nil-nil draw such number-crunching might suggest.
A tasteful quintet 11-track studio affair with the majority of the Entanglement band personnel retained: Empirical bassist Tom Farmer magisterial in his composure on the monumental bass-figured ‘Mishra Jathi’, Bunch of Five drummer James Maddren, ex-Round Trip reedist Michael Chillingworth, with on piano the excellent Phronesisian Ivo Neame taking John Turville’s place this time around.
Troy Miller has done a really good job with the sound, the guitar especially – Law’s style a cross between John Scofield’s and Phil Robson’s – really cleanly captured with enough space for everybody to be heard properly in Alex Bonney’s mix. 2015 augurs well if the imaginative essentially acoustic jazz sounds found here are at all representative of what’s in store.
Released in mid-February