Spectacular title track of Warmer Than Blood in all quietude streams

Whirlwind is going through a purple patch these last few weeks in spite of everything introducing new music week in week out. This intimate title track heralding ''Warmer Than Blood''...

Published: 23 Mar 2020. Updated: 7 days.

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Whirlwind is going through a purple patch these last few weeks in spite of everything introducing new music week in week out. This intimate title track heralding ''Warmer Than Blood'' is the latest indicator. Most of the weekend I spent poring over what's new on Michael Janisch's label and simply marvelling.

And so to an all-star all-leader trio working in all democracy that revels in its maturity and flexibility last heard live by marlbank in another context the trio in question here, Chris Montague on guitar on this track anyway completely disregarding his Holdsworthian compass ventures into deep song with pianist Kit Downes and Kit's wife brilliant bass guitarist Ruth Goller, were with James Maddren in that feisty protest singer Sarah Gillespie's band in Limerick city on a very memorable night in Dolans Warehouse last autumn. No drummer or singer in sight however on 'Warmer Than Blood.'

I haven't heard Kit Downes play like this before. He is at his most romantic certainly, not in a corny sense, and manages to imbue the yearning flavour of the piece with an extra unfathomable element, the tune somehow magical that in parallel fashion John Taylor, Norma Winstone and Kenny Wheeler created in their Azimuth days.

Montague, I suppose the UK's greatest jazz guitarist since John McLaughlin yet still ridiculously underknown to a wider international audience, and certainly in a pantheon that includes such different players of remarkable genius as Derek Bailey, John Etheridge, Mike Walker, Phil Robson and Shirley Tetteh down the years proves himself more than ever as a composer. Recorded last year in one of the most jazz-friendly studios, Eastcote in Kensal Road, London, look for this album on the other side when we get there, inshallah, in May. SG

Tags: 2020 best so far albums / tracks