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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

CD Review: George Crowley - Can of Worms

George Crowley (tenor saxophone), Tom Challenger (tenor saxophone), Dan Nicholls (piano & Wurlitzer), Sam Lasserson (double bass) & Jon Scott (drums)
(Review by Russell).
Can of Worms is saxophonist George Crowley’s second album. Recorded in July 2014 on Michael Janisch’s Whirlwind Recordings label, Crowley’s quintet comprises some of the very best of the scene’s younger musicians. London-based Loop Collective member Tom Challenger works with the bandleader as a two-tenor frontline. The rhythm section (piano bass and drums) is an integral part of the band sound, thus ‘rhythm section’ is inadequate in describing the contributions of Dan Nicholls, Sam Lasserson and Jon Scott.
The Opener is just that – a slow-burning composition igniting, indeed erupting, into an all out blast from the quintet. Drummer Jon Scott drives the band across seven titles; restless, pushing, changing direction at will. Crowley and Challenger dive in with purposeful solo flights. Ubiquitous Up Tune in 3 is up-tempo – Scott, the tenors and Nicholls’ piano solo.
Rum Punch takes its time; chiming keys, tenors calling, Scott’s drumming loose, almost free. Taut, fraught tenors squabble, bass and drums steward matters. Track five - I’m Not Here to Reinvent the Wheel – fizzes, swinging amidst the organised chaos of a free for all section, surfacing at the other end with the same fizzing energy. Baroque Wurlitzer from Nicholls complements Crowley and Challenger’s comprehensive tenor solos on Terminal
Can of Worms is an album to play again and again. It is available now on the progressive Whirlwind Recordings label (WR4666).
Russell.

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