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Album Review

Sam Braysher Trio: Dance Little Lady, Dance Little Man

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Sam Braysher Trio: Dance Little Lady, Dance Little Man
It was back in 2017 when we were first introduced to Sam Braysher with his debut release Golden Earrings (Fresh Sound New Talent), performed alongside pianist, Michael Kanan and featuring a collection of reinterpreted songs from the Great American Songbook. Braysher is now following his own footsteps by releasing a trio album with a similar theme.

The London-based alto saxophonist sees himself line up with Catalan percussionist Jorge Rossy, most recognisable for his spell with the Brad Mehldau Trio and double bassist Tom Farmer, known for his involvement with British jazz band Empirical, and work with Anoushka Shankar, Ivo Neame and Joe Stilgoe.

"One Note Samba (Samba de uma Nota So)," is short but extremely sweet. Braysher's almost lazy attitude towards the first half of the melody is a great counteract for when he opens up in the soloing. The only original composition by Braysher named "Pintxos" may be familiar to Cole Porter fans. Its title refers to the local culinary speciality in Bilbao, Spain. With the absence of any chordal instrumentation, there is plenty of freedom for further exploration through a variety of unique textures.

It's hard to pinpoint who has had an impact on Braysher's sound. Critics have pointed towards Paul Desmond, but it's difficult not to notice elements of Lee Konitz and Art Pepper's sound and language. The penultimate track titled "This Nearly Was Mine" features Rossy on marimba, where his melodic improvisation comes to life. A rather brave solo from Farmer with his bow concludes the piece, executed with pure precision.

Braysher says, "It was a real honour to record with Jorge and Tom, both of whom I have looked up to for a long time. As always, I tried to choose an interesting selection of tunes for this set, including some that are rarely played by jazz musicians, although I hope a few of these might at least sound familiar. The three of us of course have a multitude of influences between us, but when preparing these arrangements, I was vaguely thinking about the approaches to standard material of Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk and Ahmad Jamal."

The mood of the album is captivating due to its individual character, something that's all too rare. Texture, improvisation and tone are at the heart of each piece. Braysher's interpretations are well beyond the realm of the ordinary, his charm gives it an energy which leaves the listener ready for more.

Track Listing

For Regulars Only; Heart and Soul; One Note Samba (Samba de uma Nota Só); Some Other Spring; Pintxos; Little White Lies; The Sweetest Sounds; Reflection; Shall We Dance; This Nearly Was Mine; Walking the Dog

Personnel

Sam Braysher: saxophone, alto; Tom Farmer: bass; Jorge Rossy: drums.

Album information

Title: Dance Little Lady, Dance Little Man | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Unit Records


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