124

Paul Towndrow: Six by Six

John Barron By

Sign in to view read count
Paul Towndrow: Six by Six There's nothing mild or meek about Scottish saxophonist Paul Towndrow. The young reedman approaches improvisation with a go-for-broke assuredness. Six by Six finds Towndrow leading a powerhouse sextet performing a set of original mainstream jazz.

Towndrow composes edgy tunes with enough lush harmony to keep band-mates challenged and listeners curious. The disc's explosive opener, "Big Hitter," and "Rostov," a contrapuntal-laden straight-eighth groove, serve as stand-out tracks. Other tunes, such as the second-line influenced "Crook Sludge," come across as well-intended but slightly over-composed.

The disc's supporting members seem to share in the leader's aggressive leanings. Drummer Alyn Cosker is an Elvin Jones-inspired hurricane behind the kit. His bombastic accompaniment on "Earth Scene (Part 1)," and powerful samba-to-swing groove on "Dr Jones Will Never Believe This" pushes otherwise ordinary writing into the realm of inspiration. Bassist Michael Janisch plays the role of tireless work-horse with glorious sound and intonation. His crisp arco work on "Protective Memory" is a lyrical high-point of the session. Pianist Steve Hamilton comps with sensitivity and conviction. Tenor saxophonist Konrad Wiszniewski and trumpeter Tom MacNiven, both dynamic soloists, are given plenty of opportunities to stretch out.

Six by Six contains moments of musicality that are utterly thrilling. Towndrow proves himself a performer of immense talent, and if you can get past his absurd menacing scowl on the front cover you'll discover some very energetic jazz performed by a boisterous ensemble.


Track Listing: Big Hitter; Earth Scene (Part 1); Dr Jones Will Never Believe This; Protective Memory; Rostov; Crook Sludge; Across the Universe; Earth Scene (Part II).

Personnel: Paul Towndrow: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Konrad Wiszniewski: tenor saxophone; Tom MacNiven: trumpet, flugelhorn; Steve Hamilton: piano; Alyn Cosker: drums; Michael Janisch: bass.

Title: Six by Six | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Playgrounds" CD/LP/Track Review Playgrounds
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Acceptance" CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Jim Olin
Published: June 30, 2016
Read "Disappearing Day" CD/LP/Track Review Disappearing Day
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "New Life" CD/LP/Track Review New Life
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 25, 2017
Read "Eleven Promises" CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Promises
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" CD/LP/Track Review Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 29, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.