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Thursday 20: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

CD Review: Jeff Herr Corporation - Layer Cake (On at Jazz Café Tonight)

Jeff Herr (drums), Laurent Payfert (double bass) & Maxime Bender (tenor & soprano saxophones)
(Review by Russell)
Drummer Jeff Herr’s trio recorded a third CD two years ago in Luxembourg and released it earlier this year in the UK. The ‘Corporation’ line-up has evolved over time and Layer Cake features bassist Laurent Payfert and saxophonist Maxime Bender. Twelve tracks, of which five are brief sketches – ranging from fifty one seconds to one hundred and twenty four seconds – are composed by members of the trio, the oddity being The Man Who Sold the World.
The Funky Monkey and A-Rabi Dub introduce the trio; a drum groove intro, tenor funk, a hint of Orient House. These opening tracks do not signal the album’s development. Wind – all ninety six seconds of it – quietly deflates the Luxembourg monkey’s funky balloon. Bassist Payfert’s tenor-led Danse sucrée takes it down further, as does the second of the sketches. David Bowie’s tune – the longest track on the CD – is, presumably, a favourite of the Herr Corporation.
The icing on Layer Cake is a furious free piece with Bender on soprano. Superb playing all round, but, regrettably, one minute and five seconds is all we get. Journey to the Bliss succeeds with mid-tempo tenor exploring Herr’s tune. The eponymous closing track is a good example of drummer Herr’s command of his instrument; sharp, incisive, inviting a response from Bender’s tenor and Payfert’s assured bass playing. Jeff Herr Corporation – Layer Cake is available now on Igloo (Igloo IGL259). The trio will make a first visit to the UK in September playing gigs in Newcastle (Jazz Café), Tuesday 29 and at the Vortex, London the following evening. 
Russell. 

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