Monday, January 28, 2019

Ant Law - Life I Know (Edition Records, 2018)

Guitarist and composer Ant Law is in the thick of the very fertile London jazz scene, playing with the likes of Tim Garland and Trio HLK. This is his third album, recorded in November of 2017, featuring Ivo Neame on piano, Mike Chillingworth on alto saxophone and bass clarinet, Tom Farmer on bass and James Maddren on drums. The opening track "Movies" jumps out of the gate with a very fast theme for the full band before settling down a bit and providing space for the instruments, the saxophone carrying the melody forward with some interesting rhythmic phrasing from the bass and drums. Law's guitar comes to the forefront framed by piano and increasing percussion, developing an impressive stinging solo that changes the character of the piece yet again, with the guitar and drums driving the music forward and the piano adding further color. The music returns to a deceptively serene conclusion, with a bit of a  jolt at the end. There is a vibrant medium tempo opening to "Aquilinus," with varied hues and shades of musical color, blooming into a vivid improvisation, with the instruments blending together well, swinging in a positive and progressive manner. Law strikes out for a solo that is laser focused and clearly defined. His tone has just a hint of alteration, allowing him to match what the improvisation calls for and he is accompanied by a cruising ryhthm team. Saxophone takes a turn, carrying the flame even higher, on an emotional and fast paced solo statement. "Introduction to Laurvin Glaslowe" has fascinating scatted vocalization, with overtones of Indian instruments and chimes making for an alluring and interesting lead in to the track "Laurvin Glaslowe" itself. Here, the band plays fast and loose with a collective improvisation that works very well, playing with a sense of urgency, especially Law who lets loose with a torrid guitar solo, followed by a rippling piano interlude, both of which are supported by pulsating bass and drums making for an overall powerful performance, with the vocalists rejoining the full band for a smashing conclusion. "Credits" has flowing guitar and bass moving languidly with the pace gradually increasing as the drums enter, and the bass is bowed, developing a unique rhythm and then carrying that forward, flowing as if being guided by a channel, finally bursting forth as as the saxophone and drums break out in an organic fashion filling out the volume and dynamic range, before falling back to a graceful finale. Life I Know -

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