322

Jim Hart's Gemini: Narrada

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Jim Hart's Gemini: Narrada
Jim Hart is rapidly establishing himself as one of the top vibes players in jazz: an inventive, adaptable and exciting musician capable of playing in a range of styles and ensembles. As well as being a much sought-after sideman, Hart also leads two bands. The Jim Hart Quartet made its recorded debut on the excellent Words And Music (Woodville Records, 2009). Narrada is the second album from Gemini, the freer, more improvisational of the two bands that Hart leads. Emergence (Loop Records, 2007) was a fine debut for this outfit, but Narrada manages to eclipse it.

Gemini features some of the best and most sought-after young musicians on the British jazz scene. The quartet is tight, enthusiastic, innovative and capable of some stunningly rhythmical interactions. This is not surprising, given that Hart himself is the regular drummer for top flight musicians such as Sir John Dankworth, and saxophonist Ivo Neame is also a talented pianist.

Neame's alto style is distinctive—precise, low on vibrato, slightly hard-edged and refreshingly free of unnecessary frills. The opening "Four Little Words" offers a particularly fine example of Neame's playing, while "Dark Moon" features some striking interplay between Neame, Hart and drummer Dave Smith.

Hart features the marimba as well as the vibes on Narrada. His playing is warm and melodic—he can seemingly weave patterns in and around the other instruments with absolute ease. The first few minutes of "Narrada" showcase this ability exquisitely, the track beginning with Hart, Smith and bassist Jasper Høiby playing a laidback and beautiful theme before Neame enters on alto and the tune moves up in tempo. Hart's gentle shift in style fits perfectly with the changing feel of the piece.

"Crunchy Country," the album's most intriguing tune, opens with a staccato duet between Hart and Smith, also featuring Neame's sparse, free-flowing alto solo and Hart's distinctive bowing of the vibes. The closing "Last of the Leaves" is the most delicate, with Høiby and Hart each contributing affecting solos.

Narrada is yet another example of the breadth of talent on the British jazz scene. The thoughtful invention of Hart's compositions allows all four band members to stretch out, creating an ensemble recording full of atmosphere and originality that further enhances Gemini's reputation.

Track Listing

Four Little Words; Dark Moon; Narrada; Kindred; Deviation; Crunchy Country; Colette; Last of the Leaves.

Personnel

Jim Hart: vibraphone, marimba; Ivo Neame: alto saxophone; Jasper Høiby: double-bass; Dave Smith: drums.

Album information

Title: Narrada | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Loop Records

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Free Hoops
Free Hoops
Sylvie Courvoisier Trio
Read A Walk in the Park
A Walk in the Park
Jerry Cook Quartet +
Read New Aurora
New Aurora
Michael Sarian
Read Unnavigable Tributaries
Unnavigable Tributaries
Vicente / Brice / Sanders
Read How To turn the Moon
How To turn the Moon
Angelica Sanchez & Marilyn Crispell
Read The Path
The Path
Chien Chien Lu

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
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.