Flanagan Ingham is the last names of the two leaders of this Quartet, Kevin Flanagan and Chris Ingham. This is the group's second album and like its first, expresses the ambience and mood of a specific geographic location. Their first album captured the spirit of Zanzibar. Their latest, Textile Lunch, is built around a Barry Gifford description of a journey to Jack Kerouac's hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts. The four-piece mini suite "Textile Town" describes the search for Kerouac with the first stop described musically by "Moody Street", the beat author/poet's address. What follows is a tramp around the formerly flourishing but now aging city visiting spots where the poet might hang out. Each of the suite's part depicts the assurance that each stop will be successful followed by the disappointment when it isn't. Reading the passage from Gifford's book while listening to this music shows how well composer Kevin Flanagan has caught the Gifford's description and meaning of this trek to and around the former textile manufacturing center.
Chris Ingham plays piano and has the vocalizing duties. His voice combines the breathy qualitites of a Chet Baker with the cool hip of a Dave Frishberg or Bob Dorough. American born but now British resident Kevin Flanagan plays the various saxophones in the manner of a pre-sheets of sound John Coltrane. Although it's not listed as one of his instruments, he plays clarinet on the Beatles like composition "Maxine". This session has a 1950's or 1960's ambience about it. The lessons of Bop have been well learned and the playing is appropriately cool, while avoiding being rambunctious or grating. Most of the tunes are by either Flanagan and/or Ingham. The one non original is Duke Ellington's "Warm Valley" where Flanagan honors Johnny Hodges masterful solo, except on tenor rather than alto, but with that inimitable feeling of the blues that characterized Hodges' enduring solo. To further that 50's-60's aura, works of those ageless hipsters Frishberg and Dorough are present and given their due. Ingham's vocal of Dorough's "Devil May Care" will make the master proud.
The group delivers the permutations of bop and early post bop jazz in a refreshing and engaging way. This is an excellent outing and is recommended. Kevin and Chris can be visited at their joint Internet site at www:flanaganingham. f9.co.uk.
Track Listing: Devil May Care; You Would Rather Have the Blues; Disappointed; Maxine; New Man Blues; Textile Lunch: Moody Street, One Fast Move, That Was the Year, St. Theresa; Lew's Gone; Warm Valley; Calypso's Seaward Prospect
Personnel: Kevin Flanagan - Saxophones/Clarinet; Chris Ingham - Piano/Vocals; Andrew James Brown - Bass; Russ Morgan - Drums