It’s three years since Dan Messore’s debut with his band Indigo Kid.
Once more Iain Ballamy guests in a couple of spots, magnificent on ‘The Healing Process’ especially. The other saxophonist heard on the record is one of UK jazz’s finest ‘new’ talents Trish Clowes who excels on ‘Quiet Waters’ particularly, in tandem with Messore: guitar and saxophone as one.
A guitar-led band with a strong sax flavour, Messore, who recently has been guesting with Bristol band Michelson Morley, joined by two members of Spin Marvel: bassist Tim Harries, returning from the first Indigo Kid album; and drummer Martin France, who replaces Gethin Jones.
Much more complete than the earlier album, which promised a little more than it delivered, certainly a more mature and reflective often highly melodic pastoral album that has a folksy occasionally Celtic side to it that listeners to Oregon or John Abercrombie records may recognise, Messore is moving into the same sort of elite league as an instrumentalist and composer already as Mike Walker and Phil Robson (listen to Messore’s solo feature on ‘Carpet Boys’ for proof). And like both of those fine players the Welshman has his own sound irrespective of influences or little coincidences that leap to mind listening to him, which all goes to make following his releases such a pleasure as it also becomes a journey into the unknown given that he is following his own gut instincts and acting on them. The writing is knottily effective, slightly mournful at times, and lends itself to extensive exploration by the band, France’s loping baroque touches again on ‘Carpet Boys’ upping the energy level as the band can’t help itself but go a bit prog. SG
Dan Messore, above