Boriz Kozlov, First Things First, Posi-Tone ****

If you have ever heard Boris Kozlov at the heart of the Mingus Big Band you will know what a stately presence the bassist can be. He brings an easy swinging manner to the beat and can just as committedly hurtle along to tackle an upbeat groove as …

Published: 22 Jan 2022. Updated: 3 months.

If you have ever heard Boris Kozlov at the heart of the Mingus Big Band you will know what a stately presence the bassist can be. He brings an easy swinging manner to the beat and can just as committedly hurtle along to tackle an upbeat groove as easily as he can negotiate a glacially slow ballad. He's here on this deftly swinging, unshowy connoisseur level slice of retro bop along with tenoist Donny McCaslin, elegant pianist Art Hirahara (who introduces 'Aftermath' so beautifully), vibist Behn Gillece and seemingly ubiquitous drummer these days, the Frisellian Rudy Royston. You get a feeling of contentedness on 'Warm Sand' that could stand as emblematic of the album as a whole. McCaslin's passages on flute when he switches from sax say on 'Mind Palace' are one of the delights of an album that keeps it simple but knows exactly what's important in the mix in terms of sheer feeling and individual flavour.

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