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...

4

Jim Blomfield Trio: Wave Forms And Sea Changes

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Wave Forms And Sea Changes is the Jim Blomfield Trio's debut, an acoustic piano trio from Bristol in the southwest of England. Pianist/composer Blomfield has been on the scene for some years. Bristol-based since 1991, he's worked with players such as Andy Hague, Kevin Figes and ECM recording artist Andy Sheppard. On this album he's joined by two younger players—bassist Roshan "Tosh" Wijetunge and drummer Mark Whitlam.

Southwest England's popular music scene has always thrown a few surprises at the unwary listener. In the '60s, it brought the mighty Troggs to the world. In the '70s, it was The Wurzels—an odd folk-meets-music hall band whose biggest hit was a song about a combine harvester using the music of Melanie Safka's "Brand New Key." Things picked up again after a few years, with The Pop Group and Massive Attack. In the 21st century, that creative and atmospheric strand has continued, thanks to bands like Get The Blessing. Wave Forms And Sea Changes carries on the tradition.

"Return Of The Easton Walk" is full of ideas, contrasts and exemplary musicianship. A spiky and percussive opening gives way to a flowing, gentle but oh-so-brief melody, before Blomfield returns to the edginess of the opening bars. Then the melody's back, the tension builds, and then... There's as much variety and invention in this one track as there are in many entire albums, yet never once does it sound overblown, or feel like Blomfield is engaging in some sort of ego-boosting "look at me" display. Wijetunge and Whitlam don't just leave it all to the pianist either; both men add some twists and turns of their own including some lovely arco bass from Wijetunge and what sound like body slaps from Whitlam. It's clear this is a trio with which to be reckoned.

"N Trance" picks up its predecessor's melodic strength and runs with it; another graceful tune emerges, albeit with a bit more pace. The remaining tunes move confidently between more engaging melodies and periods where rhythm takes center-stage. The melody of "Now And Zen" sounds like a close relative of Billy Joel's "Piano Man," while "Pier Pressure" is more trip-hop meets hard bop groover, Blomfield's piano in the opening and closing sections seemingly altered electronically to give it something of a Fender Rhodes feel. "Rum Thing" gives "Return Of The Easton Walk" a run for its money in terms of variety, with Whitlam and Wijetunge laying down yet more irresistible rhythms.

The brief and melancholy "Sea Changes" and "Impermanence" deserve mention, as does the Latin-flavored "Sail." All three point to a more reflective side of Blomfield's work, where harmonic exploration takes precedence over the creation of danceable grooves (although the groove eventually returns to the fore on "Sail"). All in all, impressive work from the three musicians. Wave Forms And Sea Changes is a fine addition to the roster of atmospheric, slightly idiosyncratic music from the increasingly impressive Bristol jazz scene.

Track Listing: Return Of The Easton Walk; N Trance; Sea Changes; Now And Zen; Pier Pressure; Rum Thing; The River Runs Deep; Minor Minus; Impermanence; Sail.

Personnel: Jim Blomfield: piano; Roshan “Tosh” Wijetunge: double bass; Mark Whitlam: drums.

Title: Wave Forms And Sea Changes | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Pig Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Oscar Peterson Plays CD/LP/Track Review
Oscar Peterson Plays
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 23, 2018
Read State Of The Baritone Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one) CD/LP/Track Review
Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one)
by Chris May
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Friends & Family CD/LP/Track Review
Friends & Family
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read "First Things First" CD/LP/Track Review First Things First
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 4, 2018
Read "Phrases" CD/LP/Track Review Phrases
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 12, 2018
Read "State Of The Baritone Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read "g a b b r o" CD/LP/Track Review g a b b r o
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 5, 2017
Read "J.I.G.E.N" CD/LP/Track Review J.I.G.E.N
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 5, 2017
Read "The Elements" CD/LP/Track Review The Elements
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: August 25, 2017