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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

CD Review: Jamil Sheriff - The Ilkley Suite

Beverley Beirne (vocals); Nadim Teimoori (tenor sax); Jamil Sheriff (piano/composer); Garry Jackson (bass); Dave Walsh (drums).
(Review by Debra M).

Jamil Sheriff’s ‘The Ilkley Suite’ is inspired by the North Yorkshire town and its surroundings, with compositions focused on the stones and waterways that help define the area’s character and heritage.  

Opening with The River Where We Live, the music plunges straight in, with currents of piano and saxophone, occasionally coinciding, a lilting, aural ebb and flow.  Following on, the moody waltz Verbeia features the vocals of Beverley Berne, relating the tale of the Wharfe Goddess. “She rages, but tenderly…” and with this, as with the rest of his compositions, Sheriff has come up with some evocative lyrics to relate to the local legends.  


The downfall of the giant Rombald is delivered by Berne with controlled passion, reflected wittily by sax and piano interjections, the mood captured by a restrained double bass line & drum rolls, suggestive of a tango.  

Instrumental sections and pieces such as Cup and Ring are more structurally fluid, with an elemental feel, and Dave Walsh’s inventive percussion forms part of the soundscape.  But it would have been remiss not to include the most famous local traditional song Ilkley Moor Baht At. The contemporary reworking is nicely done, drawing attention to the lyric’s description of the gruesome cycle of life and death, subtleties completely lost in the boisterous renditions familiar to this writer, heard many moons ago in the Students’ Union bar at Newcastle University.

The project was commissioned by Ilkley Jazz Festival 2018, and this has enabled Jamil Sheriff and his ensemble to create a compelling and evocative set of compositions, and a worthy musical tribute to the area.

Debra M

2 comments :

Unknown said...

Hi
Where is this available? Where can I buy it?
Thanks
Dave

Lance said...

it hasn't been formally distributed yet, so directly from the Ilkley Jazz Festival site.

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