If averse to tunefulness don't read on. If still with us there is a story to tell courtesy of these melodic, meaningfully swinging but satisfyingly complex harmonic sounds. The Birmingham-born English saxophone master of Irish descent Dave O'Higgins who still (at 56) is not old enough yet beyond his significant fandom to be officially called a great or an icon, giant, etc, but certainly is a great, giant, icon, etc, nonetheless as anyone with a pulse who has heard him play with his own groups or with Darius Brubeck in recent years will, beyond all begrudgery if needs must given some curmudgeonly jazzers' propensity to mindlessly grumble, acknowledge.
From the quartet affair That's the Way To Live! the co-leader is pianist Graham Harvey known for his work with revered jazz singer Stacey Kent, for instance on Stacey's classic album The Changing Lights. As for 'Tropical Paradise' it's the kind of piece Duncan Lamont might have written in its twinkling playfulness while O'Higgins bit by bit unveils the sheer resource of his tenorist tenacity, technique and imagination. Two further Staceyians, also heard on The Changing Lights, double bassist Jeremy Brown and drummer Josh Morrison, complete the band. Why does it all work? It's the beat more than groove in the end as Brown goes to town. That's The Way To Live! (Ubuntu) is to be released on 23 September. In Brubeck's quartet O'Hig plays Soho at the Pizza, on Friday. Dave O'Higgins, top. Photo via Bandcamp