2

Roger Beaujolais Quartet: Mind The Gap

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Roger Beaujolais Quartet: Mind The Gap The quintet has usually been the format of choice for British vibraphone ace Roger Beaujolais, but he changes it up on Mind The Gap; this is the eighteenth album from the veteran mallet man, but the first to really focus on a foursome.

Beaujolais, a self taught vibraphonist who started a bit late—in his mid-twenties—has more than made up for lost time over the years. In the '80s he made a splash with The Chevalier Brothers, an outfit which brought its brand of retro jump jive music to stages throughout the world, and he found some success in the realm of acid jazz with Vibraphonic in the '90s. Studio work with a diverse list of artists, like dissimilar vocalists Robert Plant, Morrissey, and Omara Portuondo, a string of quintet dates under his own name, and teaching work at London's Trinity College of Music round out his résumé thus far, but he's not done adding to it.

Mind The Gap finds Beaujolais in fine form, doling out jazz classics ("A Child Is Born"), pleasing originals ("Joe Beam") and Brazilian tunes. Beaujolais doesn't technically share the front line with anybody since he removed saxophone from the equation, but the vibraphonist isn't really alone out front; pianist Robin Michael Aspland does his share of the heavy lifting, working in tandem with Beaujolais, taking plenty of solos, and providing solid support when the vibraphonist steps forward.

All of the music here is fairly straight ahead, yet its virtues are many and varied. Beaujolais manages to conjure different moods with each and every one of these finely crafted performances. Wes Montgomery's "Full House" is jaunty as can be, Milton Nascimento's "Vera Cruz," which opens with rubato ruminations and eventually settles into a solid groove, is upbeat and sunny, and the title track is a driving romp worth savoring. Beauty becomes Beaujolais, as demonstrated on his tender-and-loyal take on Thad Jones oft-performed "A Child Is Born," and elegance underscores a reading of "Estate." Beaujolais, Aspland, solid-as-a-rock bassist Simon Thorpe, and light-touch drummer Winston Clifford demonstrate class, skill and a strong sense of style through it all.

Beaujolais couldn't completely avoid the pull of the quintet, so percussionist Oli Savill makes a few appearances as the fifth man, but the majority of the tracks stick to the well-suited four man-plan. Perhaps this will be the first of many quartet dates for Roger Beaujolais, but even if it's not, it still serves as a fine addition to his discography.


Track Listing: Full House; Vera Cruz; West Coast Blues; Mind The Gap; Sea Journey; A Child Is Born; Joe Beam; Bad Connection; Estate.

Personnel: Roger Beaujolais: vibraphone; Robin Aspland: piano; Simon Thorpe: double bass; Winston Clifford: drums; Oli Savill: percussion (2, 7, 8).

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Stay Tuned Records


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "A Tribute to Herbie +1" CD/LP/Track Review A Tribute to Herbie +1
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 5, 2016
Read "Spectre" CD/LP/Track Review Spectre
by Mark F. Turner
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "Border Crossing" CD/LP/Track Review Border Crossing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2016
Read "The LA EP" CD/LP/Track Review The LA EP
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 27, 2016
Read "Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs" CD/LP/Track Review Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs
by John Eyles
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "Early Americans" CD/LP/Track Review Early Americans
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!

Buy it!