Ant Law, The Sleeper Wakes, Edition

A jazz album like The Sleeper Wakes could not have been made in the 1960s or 70s because the language and direction of jazz has changed so much since. You don't get that omnipresent sense of swing or in your face jazz-rock. And you don't get the …

Published: 28 Jul 2020. Updated: 2 months.

A jazz album like The Sleeper Wakes could not have been made in the 1960s or 70s because the language and direction of jazz has changed so much since. You don't get that omnipresent sense of swing or in your face jazz-rock. And you don't get the prevailing hegemony of saxophone. Sax however is a presence here on this the latest from British guitarist Ant Law and that saxist, Michael Chillingworth on alto saxophone and later effectively bass clarinet, adds colour and a certain depth to the sound. Law's writing (all the tunes are his apart from a knotty version of 'My Old Flame') does not reveal itself at once but there is plenty of warmth to it even though it is quite complicated and sometimes oblique. Bassist Tom Farmer is significant in the overall sound as is Ivo Neame on piano, and Farmer gets plenty of space while drummer James Maddren as so often is a bustling vital presence and adds so much life. When Law takes a swinging solo say on the title track you get a sense of how, momentarily, he is dealing with the jazz he grew up with but then when you hear how he and the band tackle 'My Old Flame' you really know that so much has changed and how much Law has stamped his personality on this fine record.

Tags: 2020 best so far tracks / albumsAlbum reviews

Lead-off track of new JD Allen trio album streams

Toys / Die Dreaming is new from the great JD Allen at the end of August. Here's 'The G Thing' from the Savant release. A trio affair JD, in swaggeringly formidable Sonny Rollins-like form on the track, is with Ian Kenselaar on bass and with Nic …

Published: 27 Jul 2020. Updated: 2 months.

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Toys / Die Dreaming is new from the great JD Allen at the end of August. Here's 'The G Thing' from the Savant release. A trio affair JD, in swaggeringly formidable Sonny Rollins-like form on the track, is with Ian Kenselaar on bass and with Nic Cacioppo on drums (the same line-up as on last year's Barracoon). Tracks are: You're My Thrill, The G Thing, Die Dreaming, Red Label, Toys, I Should Care and Elegua (the Trickster).