How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Good things happen on Engines Of Creation: things like imagination, inventive writing, great playing, a sense of humor, an awareness of economy. It's a heartening combination, especially as it arises from a group of young players who have only recently emerged onto the professional jazz scene.
Saxophonist Phil Meadows leads the ensemble and writes the tunes. Although he completed post-graduate studies at London's Trinity Laban he grew up in the north of England where he became aware of the LIMA co-operativethe Leeds Improvised Music Association, which featured imaginative players like pianist Matthew Bourne
are two of the co-founders of the Chaos Collective, one of a growing number of musical collectives in the UK that are key to the development of some of the country's freshest musical ideas.
"Fin," dedicated to drummer Finlay Panter, opens with a blast from Meadows' alto. Along with the album's title track, with its portentous opening theme giving way firstly to free-form playing then to a piledriving slice of fusion-meets-funk, the tune seems to encapsulate the adventurousness of Meadows' Leeds heritage. "Flamingos"written for Meadows' brother's weddingis altogether gentler, its mid-section dominated by a bright, harmonically intriguing partnership between Galvin's piano and Conor Chaplin
. The drive and energy carries over to Jurd and Meadows' unison phrases and Jurd's fiery trumpet solo.
Engines Of Creation clocks in at a little under 40 minutesrefreshingly economical in these days of over-long releases. Such brevity helps to retain interest for the entire album and keeps the quality consistent. Even better, it doesn't outstay its welcome but kindles a desire to hear more. So, album number two please.
Track Listing: Fin; Moving On; Runner; Engines Of Creation; Flamingos; The Dragon of George; Captain Kirk.
Personnel: Phil Meadows: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Laura Jurd: trumpet; Elliot Galvin: piano, Fender Rhodes; Conor Chaplin: double bass, electric bass; Simon Roth: drums.