Artist: Square One
Album: Double Bind
Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Fusion
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Into the Orient
City of Spies (Live)
Back in March, American saxophonist Andy Middleton joined Glasgow-based quartet Square One for a series of concerts around Scotland and two days of recording.
This fine CD is the result, nine tracks – five by Middleton, one by each Square One musician – that reveal interesting contrasts in compositional style and yet have the unified feel of a long-established partnership.
Middleton has worked with jazz luminaries including Maria Schneider, Billy Hart and Randy Brecker and everyone in Square One is a bandleader in his own right, as well as all being a crucial contributor to the bands that define the Scottish scene’s current strength. So the quality of musicianship is a given, with pianist Peter Johnstone consistently delivering solos that show why he’s such an asset to Tommy Smith’s ‘Coltrane’ quartet and drummer Stephen Henderson playing with unfailing certainty and direction.
If bassist David Bowden’s ballad, Winter Walk is a lesson in restraint, then Johnstone’s intricate, Macedonian-sounding Into the Orient is jubilation incarnate. Middleton, Wayne Shorter-like on soprano, and guitarist Joe Williamson display a great understanding, not least on the concluding City of Spies with its fitting air of espionage and dark menace.
By Rob Adams