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Monday, June 15, 2015

CD Review: Ivo Neame - Strata.

Ivo Neame (pno, Acc, synth); Jim Hart (vbs); Tori Freestone (ten, fl); Tom Farmer (bs); Andrea Di Biase (bs); Dave Hamblett (dms).
(Review by Steve H).
A highly enjoyable album of original compositions from the Ivo Neame Quintet. Neame, known for his work with Phronesis and Kairos 4Tet has gathered together an impressive ensemble to interpret his complex and original material. The compositions often start in one direction and then seem to take off tangentially to another.
Personality Clash gets the album off to a cracking up-tempo start with Freestone on sax and Neame on piano dominating but with the additional bonus of Hart’s wonderfully refreshing vibes playing. The title track Strata is just that - a haunting multi layered atmospheric piece featuring Neame on synthesizer. A slow melancholy piece follows, OCD Blues, which I will dedicate to a number of my manically tidy work colleagues although some of the other offerings (Personality Clash, Crise De Nerfs) could have equally sufficed. Miss Piggy is another vibrant vehicle for Freestone to exploit and again features a most welcome vibes solo from Hart. Eastern Chant is a trio piece yet it is also a Folk Song with Neame playing accordion and giving it a real Eastern European feel to it. The final track Snowfall has a somewhat familiar theme and reinforces my recognition of what a fine pianist, composer and arranger Neame has become. It also, fittingly, provides an opportunity for all of the band members to shine.   
Steve H.
Available on Monday (June 15). Whirlwind Records.

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