13

George Crowley: Can Of Worms

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
George Crowley: Can Of Worms A tin full of slimy, wriggly, things bursts open, scaring the oddly mismatched young couple. It's not your usual jazz album cover art, but it suits the title of the second album from young UK saxophonist George Crowley—Can Of Worms—and Crowley carries on the motif with further creepy-crawlies on the inside of the sleeve. Not that such visuals give too much away about the music—Crowley keeps that as a (pleasant) surprise.

Crowley's band (which also seems to be called Can Of Worms) is anchored by the ever-reliable bass and drums of Sam Lasserson and Jon Scott. Alongside the young tenor player on the frontline is—another young tenor player. The twin-tenor frontline works really well. Crowley (in the left channel) and Tomas Challenger (in the right channel) don't sound too dissimilar— Crowley's tone is perhaps a little drier—so when both men play together the instruments are in sympathy, rather than vying for supremacy.

Bandleader and composer Crowley has a neat line in whimsical tune titles. This particular can of worms is opened by "The Opener"—as logic demands. It's a ten minute track that mixes brief episodes of prog-rock riffage (early King Crimson springs to mind) with sinuous, interwoven, sax lines and Dan Nicholls' assertive piano phrases.

The remaining tunes eschew prog (except for a few seconds, late in "Rum Paunch"), but encompass a broad stylistic range. Nicholls starts "Whirl" with a gentle, musical box, Wurlitzer introduction—it's easy to visualise the little plastic ballerina twirling atop the mirrored floor. The tune gets a restrained performance from the band, Scott delivering most of the energy without going over the top. "Rum Paunch"—the more refined gentleman's beer gut—builds slowly around Lasserson's bass line until it delivers some of the tenors' most raucous playing. The relatively brief "I'm Not Here To Reinvent The Wheel" is a lively bebop-cum-freeform workout featuring solos from both sax players and there's plenty more bop to be heard on "Ubiquitous Up Tune In 3" which features the album's catchiest hook and Crowley's finest solo.

Stylistically, Can Of Worms hasn't moved too far from Crowley's debut, the quartet album Paper Universe (Whirlwind Records, 2012). However, Challenger's additional sax gives the tunes a richer sound and Crowley's writing has moved a little further from the mainstream into more varied and artistically exciting territory. It all bodes well for the future, with Crowley's development as a player and writer promising much.

Track Listing: The Opener; Whirl; Ubiquitous Up Tune In 3; Rum Paunch; I'm Not Here To Reinvent The Wheel; Terminal; T-Leaf.

Personnel: George Crowley: tenor saxophone; Tom Challenger: tenor saxophone; Dan Nicholls: piano, Wurlitzer; Sam Lasserson: double bass; Jon Scott: drums.

Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Whirlwind Recordings Ltd


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Circles CD/LP/Track Review Circles
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Windmills CD/LP/Track Review Windmills
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Ugly Beautiful CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beautiful
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Trickster CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Caipi CD/LP/Track Review Caipi
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 24, 2017
Read United CD/LP/Track Review United
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Deep" CD/LP/Track Review Deep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "Welcome Back" CD/LP/Track Review Welcome Back
by John Sharpe
Published: March 28, 2016
Read "Desertion" CD/LP/Track Review Desertion
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald" CD/LP/Track Review Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 26, 2016
Read "Tiptoe" CD/LP/Track Review Tiptoe
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!