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Ryan Quigley: What Doesn’t Kill You

Roger Farbey By

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Born in 1977, Ryan Quigley began playing trumpet at age 11 and later became an in-demand musician touring with the likes of Curtis Stigers and Tim Garland, and working as a member of award-winning Glaswegian band Brass Jaw. He's now the jazz trumpet tutor and one of the directors of the Big Band at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. What Doesn't Kill You is the follow-up to his 2008 album Laphroaig-ian Slip.

Bookended by two lugubrious trumpet solos which comprise "Prologue" and "Epilogue" respectively, the quintet configuration kicks off with the curiously titled "Doctor Stage" a hard bop belter, Quigley channelling Lee Morgan at his most exuberant. The horns introduce a memorable head over a crackling rhythm section. Introduced by piano, "Fire Eyes" is a more tranquil affair, whereas the title track sports an instantly gratifying opening theme, redolent of the very best that Blue Note in its 1960s heyday could offer and offers a stonking tenor solo from Paul Booth into the bargain.

The slow bluesy "Green Light" brings other members of the band to the fore, notably Steve Hamilton on piano and the lustrous tones of Michael Janisch's bass. The lively "The Long Journey Home" acts as a show piece for Clarence Penn whose vibrant drumming stratospherically propels this band.

"Intro To Hymn To Their Homeland" involves a short but lustrous pizzicato bass solo from Michael Janisch leading into "Hymn To Their Homeland," a medium paced track and almost (and appropriately) liturgical in feel. The penultimate number, "Say What You Feel" is a robust and funky number, with Hamilton employing Fender Rhodes to drive the band along.

Ryan Quigley proves with his latest recording that he can write swinging and engaging tunes as well as he plays them. A very satisfying set indeed demanding frequent replays.

Track Listing: Prologue; Doctor Stage; Fire Eyes; What Doesn't Kill You; Green Light; The Long Journey Home; Intro to Hymn to Their Homeland; Hymn to Their Homeland; Say What You See; Epilogue.

Personnel: Ryan Quigley: trumpet; Paul Booth: tenor saxophone, alto flute; Steve Hamilton: piano, Fender Rhodes; Michael Janisch: double bass; Clarence Penn: drums.

Title: What Doesn’t Kill You | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Whirlwind Recordings Ltd

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