Jamie Pregnell: Sleepy Town

Mark Sullivan By

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Jamie Pregnell: Sleepy Town
Australian jazz guitarist Jamie Pregnell leads a quartet through a program of original compositions. Joined by tenor saxophonist Julien Wilson, bassist Sam Anning and drummer Ben VanderWal , Pregnell kicks the album off with the gentle loping swing of "Brightside." The title tune is a lovely ballad—introspective, maybe, but certainly not sleepy. It inspires lyrical solos from Pregnell, Wilson's saxophone and Anning's bass.

"Rover" continues in a contemplative mood, this time with a more contemporary rubato feel. "Moon" is bright and upbeat, with especially active time keeping from Vanderwal's drums in an interesting groove. Bass and drums play a duet for an extended break, too, making it a rhythm section feature. "Eighties" rides along atop an insistent eight-note bass pulse. "Early Life" concludes the set with a bit of Americana guitar twang and lyrical saxophone.

Pregnell has composed an attractive and varied set of tunes, interpreted with skill and verve by the band. The music is contemporary jazz all the way—no bebop, no fusion, no rock—and the guitar employs a straight tone, without overdrive. Think Pat Metheny, sometimes Bill Frisell (in jazz and Americana mode). Good stuff. It would be nice to hear this band again, but Pregnell is someone to watch regardless.

Track Listing

Brightside; J.M.; Sleepy Town; Rover; Moon; Eighties; Early Life.


Jamie Pregnell: guitar, electric; Julien Wilson: saxophone, tenor; Sam Anning: bass; Ben VanderWal : drums.

Album information

Title: Sleepy Town | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Self Produced

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