Callum Allardice, Cinematic Light Orchestra, Earshift Music ***1/2

There's really well woven textural ensemble play here and an expansive ambitious sound at work from New Zealand guitarist Callum Allardice and his orchestra of rhythm section and brass plus strings. The sound recalls the approach of Vince Mendoza a …

Published: 24 Jan 2024. Updated: 34 days.

There's really well woven textural ensemble play here and an expansive ambitious sound at work from New Zealand guitarist Callum Allardice and his orchestra of rhythm section and brass plus strings. The sound recalls the approach of Vince Mendoza a bit in the arranging and even in places Pat Metheny circa Secret Story plus a scattering of other indie rock and Ennio Morricone influences. The writing, quite romantic and naturalistic in places, is very strong - check out a track 'Phobos and Deimos' featuring bassist Thomas Botting streaming from the album above. Allardice's soloing on 'Dark Love' is excellent. A new artist with a lot musicially to say worth taking a big punt on. Out on 8 March.

Tags: reviews

Clark Tracey Quintet, Introducing Emily Masser, Strayhorn Records ***

A bright new jazz vocals talent here on the UK scene in Emily Masser whose optimistic vocals are exuberantly backed by the Art Blakey-like rumble and roll of the Clark Tracey quintet. Masser is in her early twenties and a student at the Guildhall …

Published: 23 Jan 2024. Updated: 35 days.

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A bright new jazz vocals talent here on the UK scene in Emily Masser whose optimistic vocals are exuberantly backed by the Art Blakey-like rumble and roll of the Clark Tracey quintet. Masser is in her early twenties and a student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has a clear feel for bebop and feelgood swinging lines. Bassist James Owston bounces the sound along nicely and there are some fine breakout sax solos from Alex Clarke while the line-up is completed by pianist Graham Harvey. Tunes include evergreens such as 'The Man I Love' led off in sprightly fashion by Harvey and 'I'm Old Fashioned'. There's a well picked choice for heritage Britjazz fans in a version of Jimmy Deuchar's 'Suddenly Last Tuesday'. Masser's voice reminds me a little of Emily Dankworth, Emma Smith and perhaps even Annie Ross (on the fun opener Bobby Watson's 'A Bitta Bittadose'). SG. Out in March - a couple of tracks are streaming on Bandcamp