How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
The U.K. based, “Harrison Smith Quartet” provides substantial correlation to the title of its new CD, as they most effectively delve into the outside and inside of modern jazz with this set consisting of exceptionally strong material. Multi-reedman, Harrison Smith leads his band through a series of intricately devised movements, spanning lushly organized voicings, budding undercurrents and vivid dreamscapes on the opener, “Outside Inside.” However, the musicians’ periodically kick the proceedings into high gear via melodically tinged themes and the lead soloists’ harmoniously constructed unison lines and heated exchanges. Needless to state, this outfit performs with the utmost conviction as they seamlessly blend sonorous arrangements with dashingly executed fireworks.
The quartet ventures into free-jazz territory during “Cliffhanger/”For U,” whereas they pursue a Latin vibe amid Smith’s radiant tenor sax work and pianist Liam Noble’s lyrically charged soloing on the piece titled, “On The Tiles.” Hence, Outside Inside constitutes a welcome if somewhat unexpected surprise, as the band is quite well known in Europe yet largely under recognized here on these American shores. Highly recommended.