The main thing apparent is the high quality of the writing featuring a small version of the First Quartet band that gelled so very well last year. So, pianist Bruno Heinen - one of the very best jazz pianists in the UK at the very highest level technically and artistically - superb with The W on record in recent times in duo with the fast rising guitarist James Kitchman - the less prog-inclined so far anyway Chris Montague of his generation perhaps if one would be so audacious to risk comparison.
Rain Shadows corresponds to the way Heinen worked with another guitarist, the Dane Kristian Borring, on their very fine Postcard to Bill Evans permeated by the sound of Jim Hall and the genius of Plainfield. This is not themed in the same way at all. However, the mood music and sensibility are remarkably similar although the style is far less impressionistic and more 1970s bucolic jazz American.
Kitchman tune 'Rain Shadows' - the title track - has intervallic leaps, a salty clash, maybe a slightly unorthodox guitar tuning - in any case the main idea is deftly resolved. Heinen's 'Snowed in With Cedar Walton' is the most familiar of these pieces - it is on The W's Kings Place EP linked to below and is a significant piece. 'Warm Valley' with what sounds like Northumbrian or similar folk music grace note dots in the guitar inflections has the exactitude of a close study but contains a looser atmosphere that sits well with the quite different world of the late Mick Goodrick. Certainly work by Goodrick was a go-to destination when listening time to Rain Shadows ended. Worth investigating. Out on 26 May
The full Kitchman First Quartet line-up - K, H + double bassist Tom McCredie & drummer Shaney Forbes play POSK, Hammersmith on Friday night - click for tickets
MORE READING AND LISTENING:
First Quartet - 2022 review
The W Live at Kings Place EP review - 2022 review
Bruno Heinen & Camerata Alma Viva, Changing of the Seasons - 2017
Kristian Borring and Bruno Heinen at Dalston venue Brilliant Corners - 2015 live review
James Kitchman and Bruno Heinen, photo: Phelan Burgoyne/Ubuntu