All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

David Dower and Matt Fisher: The Frog, The Fish and The Whale

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
The young London-based duo of pianist David Dower and percussionist Matt Fisher makes its debut with The Frog, The Fish & The Whale. It's a striking set of Dower's compositions (with arrangements by him), influenced by the duo's love of jazz, classical and contemporary musics. Additional musicians join the pair on three tracks, with vocalist Lauren Lucille coming in on "Big Balloons."

By Dower and Fisher's own admission, this is ..."original music with a cheeky grin." Thankfully the cheekiness doesn't lead to a selection of cod-trad cliches or attempts at comedy jazz—the pair are too perceptive and talented to fall into those traps. The opening section of "Go To Sleep, Rybs" is probably the most overly-cheeky music on offer, energetic Neil Cowley Trio style phrases with Fisher displaying his best rock-drummer aggression. But this initial energy soon calms down and leads on to a quieter, flowing close.

"Kelsie"—a piano/percussion duet dedicated to Dower's dog—contrasts Dower's fluid piano phrases with Fisher's muscular drumming. It's easy to imagine the dog's playful energy. "Lyon" is a delightful contrast to the opening track, with added strings. It's a graceful, meditative, tune to begin with but Fisher's percussion becomes more urgent and it becomes punctuated with louder, more dramatic, flourishes from Graham du Plessis' cello and Sam Parratt's viola. "The Frog, The Fish And The Whale" is another playful duet, while "Dad" is a pretty and engaging tune featuring du Plessis and Parratt.

Vocal number "Big Balloons" adds Nick Di Gregorio's guitar to the rest of the musicians. Despite featuring the largest ensemble, the song is one of the most delicate and gentle tracks on the album. The musicians play with subtlety and with sympathy for the lyric. Lucille's sweet and expressive voice gives added poignancy to the words.

The six songs on The Frog, The Fish & The Whale demonstrate Dower and Fisher's wide-ranging musical prowess. Strong melodies, beautiful harmonies and rhythmic drive make for an impressive debut: next time around it would be great to hear an expanded role for Lucille and the other guest performers.

Track Listing: Kelsie; Lyon; The Frog, The Fish And The Whale; Big Balloons; Dad; Go To Sleep, Rybs.

Personnel: David Dower: piano; Matt Fisher: percussion; Nick Di Gregorio: guitar (4); Sam Parratt: viola (2, 4, 5); Graham du Plessis: cello (2, 4, 5); Lauren Lucille: vocals (4).

Title: The Frog, The Fish and The Whale | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read with whom you can be who you are CD/LP/Track Review
with whom you can be who you are
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Inner Core CD/LP/Track Review
Inner Core
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Dirigo Rataplan II CD/LP/Track Review
Dirigo Rataplan II
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 21, 2018
Read The Window CD/LP/Track Review
The Window
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Mønk CD/LP/Track Review
Mønk
by Chris May
Published: September 20, 2018
Read The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read "Moods" CD/LP/Track Review Moods
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 1, 2018
Read "Strata" CD/LP/Track Review Strata
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: September 5, 2018
Read "Steve Lacy’s Saxophone Special Revisited" CD/LP/Track Review Steve Lacy’s Saxophone Special Revisited
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 29, 2017
Read "Exotica" CD/LP/Track Review Exotica
by Chris May
Published: March 19, 2018
Read "Space Is The Place" CD/LP/Track Review Space Is The Place
by James Fleming
Published: May 21, 2018
Read "Beauty & Mystery" CD/LP/Track Review Beauty & Mystery
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: February 16, 2018