All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

1

Birmingham Jazz Orchestra: Rough Boundaries

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Rough Boundaries is the second album in the, to date, two-year history of the Birmingham Jazz Orchestra. A year on from debut album Burns—inspired by the poems of Scotland's own Robert Burns—the orchestra now looks away from the UK, to take inspiration from some of the great cities of Europe and North Africa.

On Burns Orchestra founder Sean Gibbs took on the key roles of conductor and composer. This time he hands over those duties to Jacky Naylor, a fellow Birmingham Conservatoire graduate, and takes a seat in the trumpet section. Naylor's five compositions are based on his experiences in five different cities—all visited in the 14 months prior to recording. Naylor wrote each composition with the aim of ..."capturing, and re-creating [each city's] character and nuances," as he puts it: the Orchestra brings those nuances to life.

These are five very different cities: differences that are conveyed by the music whether or not the listener is familiar with the places. The free-form, discordant, opening to "Moscow" suggests a slight air of menace—carried through by the horn section and David Ferris' piano—a mood that lightens and becomes more welcoming when altoist Lee Griffiths takes his solo. "Bilbao" is immediately exciting, vibrant and active, the trumpets given centre-stage with bright, energetic phrases. "Stockholm" is sophisticated, maybe even a little snooty: Naylor gives the tune a slower pace, a softer tone, and Hugh Pascall's graceful trumpet solo heightens the feel of a confident and comfortable capital. "Reykjavik" opens in rather mysterious fashion, trumpeter Tom Syson and pianist Ferris delivering restrained and beautiful solos as the ensemble builds layers of sound—the sound of the Icelandic capital's mix of ancient legend and modern cool. "Marrakech" is busy, bustling and edgy—a suitably powerful close to the album.

Rough Boundaries is another impressive album from this exciting new ensemble. It avoids the sound issues that impacted on Burns—every track comes across clearly, with excellent balance between the sections. The Birmingham Jazz Orchestra is on the move, a big band with a definite promise for the future.

Track Listing: Moscow; Bilbao; Stockholm; Reykjavik; Marrakech.

Personnel: Jacky Naylor: conductor; Josh Schofield: alto saxophone; Lee Griffiths: alto saxophone, clarinet; John Fleming: tenor saxophone; Vittorio Mura: tenor saxophone; Alicia Gardener-Trejo: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Ellena Taylor: flute; Tom Syson: trumpet; Hugh Pascall: trumpet; Sean Gibbs: trumpet; Alex Astbury: trumpet; Richard Foote: trombone; David Sear: trombone; John Tagg: trombone; Andrew Clennell: trombone; Ben Lee: guitar; David Ferris: piano; Stuart Barker: double bass: Jonathan Silk: drums.

Title: Rough Boundaries | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Rough Boundaries

Rough Boundaries

Self Produced
2016

buy
Burns

Burns

Self Produced
2015

buy

Related Articles

Read Atwood Suites CD/LP/Track Review
Atwood Suites
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 25, 2018
Read Theirs CD/LP/Track Review
Theirs
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2018
Read Jubilation! CD/LP/Track Review
Jubilation!
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 25, 2018
Read And She Speaks - A Collection Of Ballads CD/LP/Track Review
And She Speaks - A Collection Of Ballads
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 25, 2018
Read Let Go CD/LP/Track Review
Let Go
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: June 25, 2018
Read Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh CD/LP/Track Review
Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 24, 2018
Read "Theirs" CD/LP/Track Review Theirs
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2018
Read "Permission" CD/LP/Track Review Permission
by Chris Mosey
Published: April 27, 2018
Read "Song of the Silver Geese" CD/LP/Track Review Song of the Silver Geese
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "Manhattan" CD/LP/Track Review Manhattan
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 1, 2018
Read "Egregore" CD/LP/Track Review Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read "Opus" CD/LP/Track Review Opus
by Doug Collette
Published: March 29, 2018