Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

7

Slowly Rolling Camera: Slowly Rolling Camera

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
A band name—and album title—like Slowly Rolling Camera gives little if anything away about the nature of the music to be experienced on this, the debut album from the UK-based quartet. Good—for surprises can be fun. Once the music becomes familiar—the beautiful, imaginative and ambitious compositions become firmly fixed in the mind—the surprise is revealed to be lots of fun.

Two other UK bands, the Cinematic Orchestra and Portishead, are Slowly Rolling Camera's own points of reference for its sound. There's also something of Massive Attack's laid-back confidence—unsurprisingly, as producer Andy Allan has worked with both Portishead and Massive Attack. At its most soulful, on "Protagonist" and "Dream A Life," Slowly Rolling Camera seems to have its roots just as firmly in the sound of Soul II Soul.

The core quartet that forms Slowly Rolling Camera—vocalist Dionne Bennett, keyboard player Dave Stapleton, Deri Roberts on electronics and drummer Elliott Bennett —are augmented by guest musicians including saxophonist Mark Lockheart, bassist Jasper Hoiby and trumpeter Neil Yates. Electronics, keyboards and synths are central to the music but the guest players make emphatic contributions, the acoustic instruments in particular adding a warmth to the sound that the electronics—with the exception of Stapleton's Fender Rhodes—seldom match.

Lockheart's tenor solo on "Rain That Falls" is lyrical, his soprano on "Slowly Rolling Camera" is vibrant and emotive. Høiby's tough, assertive bass gives "Protagonist" real punch and contrasts well with Dionne Bennett's vocal. On "Dream A Life" he combines with Elliot Bennett's drums and Dionne Bennett's vocal at the core of the album's most striking number. Both of these songs, incidentally, highlight the connection with Soul II Soul.

"River Runs Free" is a lovely slice of ambient calm. "Rolling Clouds" is more up-tempo, with Chris Montague's electric guitar, Lockheart's soprano saxophone and Elliot Bennett's drums adding a note of urgency. The Portishead influence is most apparent on songs such as the moody "Fragile Ground" and "Two Roads" and the gorgeous "Bridge"—although Dionne Bennett's voice is more gospel-tinged than Beth Gibbons.'

Slowly Rolling Camera is available as a CD and, courtesy of Edition Records' collaboration with Gearbox Records, as a vinyl album (with download code). The comparisons being bandied about (including the ones in this review) offer a hint at Slowly Rolling Camera's heritage, but an intimate knowledge of the Portishead or Soul II Soul back catalog is far from necessary for enjoyment of the music. Once Slowly Rolling Camera infiltrates the mind with its gorgeous compositions it becomes clear—this album heralds the arrival of a new and distinctive ensemble.

Track Listing: Protagonist; Dream A Life; Rain That Falls; Bridge; Slowly Rolling Camera; Outside; Fragile Ground; Two Roads; River Runs Free; Rolling Clouds; Color.

Personnel: Dionne Bennett: vocals; Dave Stapleton: Fender Rhodes, piano, Hammond organ; Deri Roberts: electronics, trombone, saxophone; Elliot Bennett: drums, drum programming; Neil Yates: trumpet; Mark Lockheart: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Chris Montague: guitar; Jasper Høiby: double bass; Jon Visanji: violin; Catrin Win Morgan: violin; Victoria Stapleton: violin; Katy Rowe: violin; Ilona Bondar: viola; Rebekah Frost: viola; Alice Hoskins: cello; Sarah Stevens: cello.

Title: Slowly Rolling Camera | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Edition Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Glow of Benares CD/LP/Track Review Glow of Benares
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Magic Circle CD/LP/Track Review Magic Circle
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 12, 2017
Read A Gathering Foretold CD/LP/Track Review A Gathering Foretold
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Swinging In The Holidays CD/LP/Track Review Swinging In The Holidays
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 11, 2017
Read "Reclamation" CD/LP/Track Review Reclamation
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Ugly Beauty" CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beauty
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 20, 2017
Read "Unification" CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Do For You?" CD/LP/Track Review Do For You?
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 5, 2017
Read "Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Christmas
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 30, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!