All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

2

Wild Card: Life Stories

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Wild Card is, at its heart, an organ trio—guitarist and composer Clément Régert, organist Andrew Noble and drummer Sophie Alloway— joined on Life Stories by a series of guests including trumpeter Graeme Flowers who was also an ever-present guest on the band's previous album, Organic Riot (Top End Records, 2015). Life Stories boasts a similar mix of instruments, voices and tunes to the previous album (although most of the guest players are new to the line-up) and, as before, funky grooves are the band's trademark. Régert's compositions constitute the majority of this album, eight of the 11 tracks. They're impressive. Opening track "Life Stories Intro" mixes a Blue Note hard-bop instrumental feel with some (uncredited) spoken word about the beauty of jazz. "Better Remorse Than Regret" features guest tenor player Denys Baptiste. It shifts between an up-tempo, full-on ensemble groove and Baptiste's quieter and more reflective solo section—the track also highlights Sophie Alloway's dynamic drumming. "La Parenthese Enchantée" showcases Régert's acoustic classical guitar and Jim Knight's alto sax, the coolly funky "Beat The Beast" gives Knight another strong solo spot and "Maybe...Maybe Not"—a sextet number with Knight, Flowers and percussionist Will Fry joining the core trio—features Régert's fluid and considered electric guitar. "Risky Business" features harmonica player Adam Glasser. It's his only appearance but he leaves a lasting impression with some fine, lyrical and melodic phrasing.

Of the two covers, "Paint It Black" works best, with Mary Pearce's vocals crucial to its success. There's also a wild synth solo from Carl Hudson which is great fun (even if it seems a bit anachronistic) and some equally wild flourishes from Régert and trumpeter Flowers. Organist Noble wrote "Herman's Hoedown," an upbeat groover that brings Life Stories to a cheerful and positive close.

Track Listing: Life Stories Intro; Better Remorse Than Regret; Paint It Black; La Parenthese Enchantée; Beat The Beast; Mommy Is In The Sky; Risky Business; Bravid; Another Brick In The Wall; Maybe…Maybe Not; Herman’s Hoedown.

Personnel: Clément Régert: guitars; Andrew Noble: Hammond organ; Graeme Flowers: trumpet; Will Fry: percussion; Sophie Alloway: drums; Mary Pearce: vocals (3, 6); Carl Hudson: synthesizers (3, 9); Jim Knight: alto saxophone (1, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11); Denys Baptiste: tenor saxophone (2, 3, 6, 8) Alistair White: trombone (2, 3, 6, 8, 9); Adam Glasser: harmonica (7).

Title: Life Stories | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Top End Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Life Stories

Life Stories

Top End Records
2018

buy
Organic Riot

Organic Riot

Top End Records
2015

buy

Related Articles

Read Outsidethebox CD/LP/Track Review
Outsidethebox
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 16, 2018
Read There Are Stars In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review
There Are Stars In Brooklyn
by James Fleming
Published: October 16, 2018
Read The Seasons of Being CD/LP/Track Review
The Seasons of Being
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 16, 2018
Read Passages CD/LP/Track Review
Passages
by Don Phipps
Published: October 16, 2018
Read Picture in Black and White CD/LP/Track Review
Picture in Black and White
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: October 15, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 15, 2018
Read "Vestigium" CD/LP/Track Review Vestigium
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 14, 2018
Read "Light in the Ring: The Ali Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Light in the Ring: The Ali Suite
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: June 7, 2018
Read "Eternal Life" CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "We Are All" CD/LP/Track Review We Are All
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2018
Read "Journey to a New World" CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "Travelers" CD/LP/Track Review Travelers
by John Kelman
Published: May 18, 2018