10

Leo Richardson Quartet: The Chase

Roger Farbey By

Sign in to view read count
Leo Richardson Quartet: The Chase
An alumnus of London's Trinity College of Music, tenor saxophonist Leo Richardson, who incidentally is the son of bassist Jim Richardson (formerly of the jazz rock band If), graduated from the College with a first class honours degree in Jazz Performance. Whilst studying at Trinity he was tutored by some world class players including Jean Toussaint, Julian Siegel, Martin Speake, Mark Lockheart and Mick Foster. Since leaving Trinity he has become an in-demand saxophonist on the London Jazz scene. He's performed with the likes of Jamie Cullum, Gregory Porter, Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra, Clare Teal, Dick Pearce, Norma Winstone and Jim Mullen to name just a few.

What is extraordinary about Richardson's debut album The Chase is how familiar all the tracks sound. Whilst these hard bop numbers are all Richardson compositions they instantly evoke a period of 1950s-60s jazz, typified by such luminaries as Art Blakey, Hank Mobley and Dexter Gordon. The fiery head to "Blues for Joe," a tribute to Joe Henderson, leads into a blistering solo by Richardson, whereas "Demon E," with Quentin Collins soloing expansively on trumpet, evinces a strong evocation of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, indeed all that's missing is the drummer's trademark press rolls. "The Curve," again with Collins, evokes memories of the irresistible recordings of Lee Morgan and Collins's final contribution on the album is the ebullient title track and here Richardson plays with magnificent intensity and speed, the piece being rounded-off by a lightning fast drum solo from Ed Richardson.

There's a change of pace with the stately ballad "Elisha's Song" and again the mood changes with the modal "Mambo." There's a return to lively hard bop with "Silver Lining," dedicated to the late Horace Silver and featuring some arresting piano from Rick Simpson. The standout track saved for last, and the longest at 10 minutes, is the Impulse! era Coltrane-esque "Mr Skid" featuring guest Alan Skidmore, one of Britain's finest saxophonists. Here the two tenors, playing in harmony, bounce notes off each other, a configuration reminiscent of the great twin tenors of the 1960s, the Jazz Couriers featuring Ronnie Scott and Tubby Hayes. There are appropriately coruscating solos from both saxophonists and the whole piece culminates in a powerful crescendo of saxophones. Kudos goes to Richardson who has succeeded in writing original tunes that channel the Blue Note songbook but, amazingly, they do so without a trace of plagiarism. All the selections sound new and fresh as does this remarkable saxophonist's playing.

Track Listing

Blues for Joe; Demon E; The Curve; The Chase; Elisha's Song; Mambo; Silver Lining; Mr. Skid.

Personnel

Leo Richardson: tenor saxophone; Rick Simpson: piano; Mark Lewandowski: bass; Ed Richardson: drums; Plus: Quentin Collins: trumpet (2,3,4); Alan Skidmore: tenor saxophone (8).

Album information

Title: The Chase | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Ubuntu Music

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Naurora
Dewa Budjana
The Last Call
Larry Coryell & Philip Catherine
Palette of Feelings
Karolis Šarkus
A Centering Peace
Brian Woodruff Sextet
Five Down Blues
Kyle Asche Organ trio
Long Tall Sunshine
Barry Altschul's 3Dom Factor

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
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.