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Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

CD Review: Sam Coombes Trio - Pace of Change

Sam Coombes (alt/sop); Yoni Zelnik (bs); Julien Charlet (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Sam Coombes first appeared on my radar in January 2011 when he played a Splinter gig at the Bridge Hotel. As you will gather from that original review I was impressed. This was a quartet gig with David Patrick (remember that name*) on piano. Piano has been dispensed with in this downsized ensemble making for an even tighter and, paradoxically, freer session.
Coombes remains Konitz inspired but now leans more towards later Konitz with perhaps a dash of Pepper (Art) added - the end product being pure Coombes.
Ten originals penned by Coombes show him to be as competent a composer as a player not least in the oft changed time signatures used. "Each composition uses a minimum of 3 non-standard time signatures - 13/4; 11/4; 9/4; 5/2 etc." (could be the odds for the 3.30 at Kelso!). 
This complexity surely places extra curricular demands on your average jazzer but, one assumes, these guys had been thoroughly woodshedded otherwise the results couldn't have been so perfect. I'm not suggesting that this was meticulously rehearsed - far from it - rather that they acclimatised themselves to the Pace of Change - a title as appropriate as Brubeck's Time Out was when the movement to explore other meters in jazz began. The fluidity of Coombes playing incorporates everything asked of a jazz musician i.e. to swing in a contemporary manner, to be explorative, to display command of his instrument and, most of all, connect with the listener. Coombes connects with this listener!
Zelnik and Charlet, à la basse et batterie respectively, provide a solid foundation. Les deux Frenchmen combine with Coombes to make this a truly integrated Anglais/Francais band. Coombes seems to commute 'twixt London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Paris for gigs. Methinks there's a place at the epicentre of these cities where he may care to drop by again...
Check Sam Coombes out!
Available on Pol-e-MATH RECORDINGS SCPRO1 and distributed by Discovery Records from Oct. 16.
Lance.
*Sam Coombes is also featured on the David Patrick Octet's jazz version of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring - up for review here shortly.

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