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Friday, June 15, 2018

CD Review: Rick Simpson - Klammer.

(Review by Mark Robertson).
Even a casual look at Klammer by keyboard player Rick Simpson makes clear that this will not be the usual collection of Usain Bolt paced practice routines applied to “The Great American Songbook”. With titles like Beware of Gabriel Garrick imitators and Unsubstainabubble it’s clear we’re venturing into an area of quintessentially English jazz inhabited by the likes of Ballamy, Bates, and Jenkins. 

With Simpson playing a variety of keyboards, it’s obvious that he has outgrown his narrower early influences. Like Django Bates, credited in the sleeve notes, Simpson’s undoubted musicianship takes second place to the ideas he wishes to convey. Never more so than on the mercurial How Deep is Your Disrespect?  
He is ably supported by a first-rate, young cast who have fire aplenty at their fingertips but enough maturity not to “chain smoke”. There is still, even in this modern release, room for a nod to Monk on Greasy Child! Ugly Man! 
The wonderful Surreal Estate shows that the lasting effect of emigres from Apartheid-era South Africa still lingers in London’s jazz scene and the slow burn of Sea Change manages to combine depth and beauty in equal measure. Set aside a little “Klammer time”, it will pay dividends and keep an eye on Rick Simpson’s future explorations, they will be anything but ordinary.
Mark R.
Available from Two Rivers Records. 
Rick Simpson (piano/Fender Rhodes/Wurlitzer/ms-10/glockenspiel/harmonium); Michael Chillingworth (alto/tenor/clarinet/bass clarinet); George Crowley (tenor); Ralph Wyld (vibes); Tom Farmer (bass); David Hamblett (drums).

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