With the added flamenco-like hand-claps on the opener there is a distinctly Spanish flavour added in the mix. Yet for repertoire and in the detailed hard bop lapidary lines from altoist Perico Sambeat especially, one of Europe's greatest players for many years who used to play regularly at Ronnie Scott's going back to Pete King's time in the club, it does not stray too far from US jazz with one notable detour. The record is actually led by bassist Miquel Álvarez who provides a stately reverberant underpinning throughout. Flavoured with the trumpet playing of Will Mallard who comes into his own on classic Kenny Dorham opener 'Lotus Blossom' (also known as 'Asiatic Raes' to distinguish it better from the very different Billy Strayhorn classic of the same name) La Base is really only an EP given the lengths of the five pieces but there's plenty to get stuck in to here. Indulge yourself especially in the band's likeable version of Horace Silver's 'The Jody Grind' and its perennially feelgoodness.
Covering Charles Trenet 1940s song 'I Wish You Love' (eg 'Que reste-t-il de nos amours?') first covered in the 1940s in the silky croon of Roland Gerbeau is the detour referred to above and big bass feature, lovable of course, it says it on the tin, but the least essential of the tracks. SG
Tags: Albums and EPs