The music of Alyn Coskerthe resident drummer of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestrais neither here nor there. While his work firmly rests in the miles-wide jazz camp, its synthesis of disparate styles and identities offers it shielding from easy labels within. Take "Serenity," the album's lead-off track, for example. Augmenting an electrified quintet with mandolin, accordion, fiddle, and alto saxophone, Cosker creates a powerful and uncategorizable blend that sits, swirls, storms, and dances around a stabilizing piano beacon. It's a song that calls on the wisdom and clarity of its titular prayer while also acknowledging the shake-ups in life that lead many to embrace it.
In the ten tracks that follow, Cosker continually rises above expectations by skirting them. With "Yatey Ate" he completely embraces a rock-fusion aesthetic, putting guitarist Davie Dunsmuir and keyboardist Steve Hamilton out front; on "Dragons" he invites Rachel Lightbody's entrancing voice into the fold, melding the definitions of songwriter and composer in the process; through the concise title track, his peaceable piano playing speaks volumes about the love of his life; and during "Could Be Fate" he embraces a cooler aesthetic, providing breathing room.
A number of notable guests add to the variable mixJoe Locke's vibraphone proves euphonious in its melodic shading and soloing behind Cosker's slow-and-slick groove play on "Purely Intertwined," Tommy Smith's tenor throws down on the slamming "Shoogly Paw," Fraser Anderson's vocals call to feelings of loss on the album-closing "Two Stars In The Sky," and several others drop in at points along the waybut the album belongs to Cosker in every respect. As composer, lyricist, arranger, drummer, periodic pianist and all-around musical director, he never misses a beat.
Serenity; Yatey Ate; Dragons; Purely Intertwined; KPF; Hee Haw Twice; We Were Young; The Adventures Of Feskelar; Could Be
Fate; Shoogly Paw; Two Stars In The Sky.
Alyn Cosker: drums, piano (1, 3, 5, 11), shaker (3, 9); Steve Hamilton: keyboards, piano; Marcio Doctor: percussion; Dave
Dunsmuir: electric guitar; Colin Cunningham: electric bass (2, 4-11); Fraser Anderson: vocals (11); Adam Bulley: mandolin (1);
Jim Cosker: piano (7); Laurence Cottle: electric bass (1, 3); Fiona Hamilton: fiddle (1); Kirsty Johnson: accordion (1); Rachel
Lightbody: vocals (3); Joe Locke: vibraphone (4); Chas Mackenzie: acoustic guitar (7); Eddi Reader: vocals (7); Tommy Smith:
tenor saxophone (3, 10); Paul Towndrow: alto saxophone (1).
| Year Released: 2018
| Record Label: NYLA Recordings
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.