3

Philip Clouts Quartet: The Hour Of Pearl

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
The Hour Of Pearl—a title taken from John Steinbeck's Cannery Row—is the second album from the UK-based Philip Clouts Quartet. A melodic collection of original tunes, it combines lightness of touch with a rhythmic sensibility: a winning combination.

Pianist and composer Clouts was born in Cape Town. Although he moved to the UK in his infancy, the family home was filled with the music of his homeland, Abdullah Ibrahim and Chris McGregor proving to be especially influential on Clouts' development. In London, Clouts led Zubop and ZubopGambia, two bands steeped in the music of South Africa and many other nations.

Clouts now lives in the small coastal town of Lyme Regis, in the south-west of England. Known by some as "The pearl of Dorset" it's a place noted for its annual Fossil Festival and an appearance in Jane Austen's novel Persuasion. It's not noted as a hotbed of jazz, but this quiet, rural setting has, along with his South African homeland, inspired much of Clouts' music on this album.

Clouts is joined by saxophonist Carlos Lopez-Real, a member of London's e-17 and F-IRE collectives, bassist Alex Keen and drummer Jon Debruslais. From the relaxed swing of "On West Hill" to the restrained beauty of "Nyasa Lullaby" the quartet shows an ability to craft immediately accessible tunes that also repay repeated listening, revealing their subtleties of harmony and texture as they become more familiar.

Despite the title, "Riptide" is a smoothly flowing, mid-tempo tune which gives Lopez-Real a chance to showcase his lyrical alto saxophone. Elsewhere, on "Nyasa Lullaby" and "Clef Mona" for example, he favors the soprano sax. Clouts' piano is heard to particularly fine effect on "Delta," his combination of bright, sparkling, single note runs and chordal playing giving the tune its rhythmic punch as well as its melodic flow.

Keen and Desbruslais take few solos but their work is key to the rhythms and moods of The Hour Of Pearl. Debruslais' brushes and Keen's economically spacious bass line do much to give "As Evening Falls" its calm beauty, underpinning Lopez-Real's sax and Clouts' piano to create a standout tune on an album of quality.

Track Listing: Riptide; On West Hill; Delta; Flamingo-ing; The Hour Of Pearl; Clef Mona; As Evening Falls; Nyasa Lullaby.

Personnel: Philip Clouts: piano; Carlos Lopez-Real: saxophones; Alex Keen: bass; Jon Debruslais: drums, percussion.

Title: The Hour Of Pearl | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Point Records

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Umoya

Umoya

Odradek Records
2015

buy
The Hour Of Pearl

The Hour Of Pearl

Point Records
2013

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
May18Sat
Philip Clouts Quartet
St James Scottish Episcopal Church
Edinburgh, UK
£12.00

Related Articles

Read Trion Album Reviews
Trion
By Dan McClenaghan
April 22, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 22, 2019
Read After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane Album Reviews
After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 21, 2019
Read Cadillac Turns Album Reviews
Cadillac Turns
By Troy Dostert
April 21, 2019
Read A Pride Of Lions Album Reviews
A Pride Of Lions
By John Sharpe
April 21, 2019
Read Sunburst Finish Album Reviews
Sunburst Finish
By Glenn Astarita
April 21, 2019
Read This Should Be Fun Album Reviews
This Should Be Fun
By David A. Orthmann
April 20, 2019