A welcome surprise to begin the new listening week with a piano trio recording from a new UK band called Small Blue, which is drummer-composer Martin Pyne with pianist David Beebee and double bassist Marianne Windham, the latter a mainstay of the jazz scene in Guildford. I was only really aware of Pyne's more avant-garde work mainly on vibes and percussion but as so often with jazz musicians: categorise someone at your peril. Here it's a Bill Evans-type dreamy atmosphere at play with the tunes by Pyne and a balladic and gently swinging modal feel that transports you back to the 1950s and 60s. Subtle and elegant tunes crisply delivered include 'Seeking Refuge' that Pyne has already released on vibes on his album Ripples and a number of tunes inspired by literature drawn from the work of Wilkie Collins, Thomas Hardy and Louis MacNeice. The more oblique title track is inspired by Marilyn Crispell. SG
A couple of tracks are already streaming on Bandcamp ahead of the full 10 February release.