Dominic Ingham: Role Models

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Dominic Ingham: Role Models
Jazz violinists' role models tend to follow a familiar continuum that runs roughly from Stuff Smith and Stephane Grappelli to Jean Luc Ponty and Didier Lockwood. British violinist/singer Dominic Ingham, however, paddles his own canoe. With a technique that draws as much from his folk and classical upbringing as it does from jazz, Ingham's idiom is a personal one. As Ingham explains in the press release, the role models in question on this, his debut as leader, are the members of his new band: vibraphonist Johnny Mansfield; pianist David Swan, double bassist Will Sachs and drummer Boz Martin-Jones. He adds that these eight originals are inspired by contemporary artists such as Ambrose Akinmusire, Walter Smith III and Camilla Meza—further indication that his gaze is fixed very much on the present.

Folk, classical and jazz bind in compelling fashion on the title track. Sachs' punchy bass mantra and Martin-Jones' lively drumming form a rhythmically propulsive framework for Ingham's dancing solo, while piano and vibraphone lend chamber undertones. The beautiful melody of the gently padding "Fall"—relayed by vibraphone, violin and Ingham's gently caressing wordless singing—provides the starting point for refined yet emotive solos from Ingham and Mansfield. This is arguably the album's standout track, the melody being of the sort that lodges stubbornly in your head.

Ingham's penchant for simple, catchy motifs and engaging grooves is evident once again on "Pj's." Martin-Jones' snappy snare-cum-rim patterns and his insistent bass drum pulse course through this composition of skeletal lyricism—with Ingham's playing, like the accompaniment, light in tone yet uplifting. The wintery impressionism of Swan's solo piano piece, "Intro to Phones," gives way to jagged angularity before the kernel of a motif emerges, segueing into the buoyant "Phones." Vibraphone and violin dance the head in unison, before Ingham, and then Mansfield stretch out, the latter picking up the former's energy and then some.

Ingham gradually steers "Daydreaming" from its mellow opening of soft mallets and spare rhythmic punctuation, into more animated pastures. His unhurried, lyrical playing serves as a stepping stone to Mansfield's more expansive solo, the music swelling in response to the vibraphonist's searching run. Skittering brushes and a baroque rhythmic undercurrent color "Bottles," an elegant tune of subtly rising-falling contours with an explosive, vibraphone-led mid-section that tapers to a bustling drum feature. Bristling rhythms drive Ingham and Mansfield's to-and-fro dialog on the feisty "Passport," which closes the album on an energetic high note.

An accomplished debut, Role Models propels Ingham into the ranks of young leaders who are writing an exciting chapter in contemporary UK jazz history. A fine violinist, and a writer of some maturity, Ingham has laid strong foundations upon which to build. A name to watch out for.

Track Listing

Role Models; Fall; Pj's; Intro To Phones; Phones; Daydreaming; Bottles; Passport.


Dominic Ingham: violin; Jonny Mansfield: vibraphone; David Swan: piano; Will Sach: bass, acoustic; Boz Martin-Jones: drums.

Additional Instrumentation

Dominic Ingham: vocals (2).

Album information

Title: Role Models | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Self Produced

Post a comment about this album



Shop Amazon


Afrika Love
Alchemy Sound Project
Sunday At De Ruimte
Marta Warelis / Frank Rosaly / Aaron Lumley /...
Westward Bound!
Harold Land
Tread Lightly
Trøen Arnesen Quartet
MMBC Terma
Michael Bisio / MMBC
Koki Solo
Natsuki Tamura
Colibri Rojo
Camilia Nebbia


All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings 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 step that will help musicians and venues 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 sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.