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Sunday, March 22, 2015

CD Review: John Bailey - Black Ship Bright Sea

John Bailey (gtr); Richard Iles (flug); Tim France (sax); Gavin Barras (bs); Steve Hanley (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Quoting from the blurb we're told that the music here sits squarely on the border between jazz and classical music. Bailey's compositions, it would appear, deal with the dark and light aspects of life. The aim of the compositions, it seems, is to move the listener through a range of different emotional states from depressing and bleak to uplifting and optimistic.
Not a party record!
I'm afraid the composer only partially succeeds in his objective - it didn't make me feel at all depressed. You must try harder next time John!
Where he did score was at the uplifting and optimistic end of the scale.
Some good solos from Tim France, Iles sounds good on flugel and it really is uplifting to hear a nylon strung guitar in this world of multi effects pedals. The compositions are full of interesting conceptions. Even when the mood is aimed at the 'black dog' they are very listenable and unlikely to drive anyone to despair!
Quite the opposite in fact!
The enigmatically titled four part solo suite, A Green Sun, has some of the most beautiful classical guitar playing I've heard this side of John Williams.
Bailey, who gained his MA in Jazz Performance from Leeds COM in 2010, currently teaches guitar at Liverpool Uni.
This is an excellent album that hardly depressed me at all!
Available on ASC Records.
Lance.











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