London-based guitarist Rob Luft, an alumnus of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, reveals on tracks like the opener "Night Songs" a lightness and deftness of touch. There's also a trace of highlife West African influence too. But notably, Luft veers away from the more well-worn modern jazz guitar style, steadfastly avoiding the usual plethora of blues and jazz clichés. Nonetheless Luft intersperses his imaginative compositions with fast arpeggio runs a-plenty. The title track, even more so, offers a conglomeration of styles and more influences, and a dulcet quality as characterised by, say, Kurt Rosenwinkel. There are some memorable riffs too as evidenced on "Beware"
Then there's a near-folky feel on the brief "Slow Potion" which segues into "Different Colours Of Silence," a Bill Frisell glissando-rich opening giving way to a fast tempo with more African-esque feel. The foot tapper "Shorty" exemplifies what a tight unit Luft has assembled. Joe Wright plays the melody and meatily underscores the proceeding with growling tenor, whilst the keen rhythm section holds it all together like glue. Luft takes a less prominent role here but it's no less effective.
The closer, "We Are All Slowly Leaving," drifts along for its eight minutes, first in a pastoral haze, then gradually consolidating by virtue of an inexorably developing hypnotic pulse. With Riser Luft has produced a debut album of remarkable originality, strong compositions and he's assisted by a formidable quartet of musicians whose natural sensibilities and talents only serve to enhance the project.
Night Songs; Riser; Beware; Slow Potion; Different Colours Of Silence; Dust Settles;
Shorty; Blue, White And Dreaming; St. Brian; We Are All Slowly Leaving.
Rob Luft: guitar; Joe Wright: tenor saxophone; Joe Webb: Hammond organ, piano,
harmonium; Tom McRedie: bass; Corrie Dick: drums.
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