Nicole McCabe does nothing fancy here but does it very well. If you are into Martin Speake, or to an extent a less sped-up version of the great Zhenya Strigalev, you will find a lot to admire here. Certainly the US alto saxophonist has a firm grip on the arc of an improvisation within a compositional framework that makes sense and her role within it. The players that McCabe surrounds herself with know how to work together as a unit.
Particularly impressive in that regard is bassist Logan Kane whose role in 'Finding Beauty in an Unexpected Place' is even more absorbing the quieter it becomes if that isn't too much of a paradigm shift for the listeners among us who like to add some extra glue to their wigs when the bald if brutal truth of sheer blowing power forces a gone with the wind disappearing act.
Above all the tunes written in the language of an ease-with-itself very studied contemporary vision of bebop are convincing. There's not too much peril here looking in the rear view mirror. Kane leads off the title track and it's here where Paul Cornish on piano sparkles. (Cornish and Kane are on David Binney's beautifully arranged 2022 release Tomorrow's Journey.) But the vocalising on the slightly overlong 'Portsmouth' while sweet doesn't add as much as its pleasant melody promises.
Still a new name to discover McCabe - who was championed by George Colligan earlier in her career and who appearing on 2020's Introducing Nicole McCabe - is someone whose career you'd hope would rocket further into all our consciousness given the clear potential this record so emphatically displays.