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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

CD Review: Dan Banks Quintet

Dan Banks (piano); Paul Higgs (trumpet); Roberto Manzin (tenor sax); Jose Canha (bass); Josh Law (drums).
(Review by Lance).

Maybe not the CD of the Year but it's certainly high on the list. Five fine musicians combining post-bebop with more contemporary influences in a manner that varies from compelling lyricism - deep and thoughtful - to hard-swinging unison heads reminiscent of Blue Note artists such as Art Blakey, Hank Mobley and those New York bands that built upon the Bird/Diz legacy.

Based in Kent, this is, I gather, their second album of original compositions - all by leader Banks - and it's well worth seeking out. Banks is a complex, probing, classically trained, experimentalist who can swing with the best of them when the groove is in.

Higgs is the only one of the others I was familiar with having reviewed an album issued under his own name back in 2014. I commented then on his lyricism and he retains that quality with perhaps a little more edge added to his playing since.

Manzin too has a melodic side as well as a formidable technique on the 'up' numbers, Canha and Law add the foundation to make this a one for repeated listening.

Let's hope that they take to the road sometime soon otherwise I'm going to have to thumb a lift down to Kent or Essex!
Lance.

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