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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Album review: Abbie Finn Trio - Northern Perspective

Abbie Finn (drums); Harry Keeble (tenor saxophone); Paul Grainger (double bass)

In the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic which has all but stopped the world spinning on its axis it's a brave move to release an album. In these less than conducive circumstances that's precisely what Abbie Finn has done. Drummer Abbie's trio recorded material at Blank Studios in Newcastle and previewed it at a recent gig at Gosforth Civic Theatre. Next week there will be an album launch gig at Prohibition Bar. 

Northern Perspective comprises ten tracks: five original compositions, five standards, each one to be filed under 'straight ahead'. Finn's Walkabout opens the album and bassist Paul Grainger's Umlazi Morning closes it. In between, tenor saxophonist Harry Keeble contributes Ginnungagap, Finn and Keeble co-wrote North Meets South (Abbie is from 'up north', Harry from 'down south') and Waltz for Tony is a trio composition.  Walkabout is best described as 'modern' jazz written from a twenty first century perspective with a post-bop, rhythmic swing feel. Ginnungagap is equally modernist, suggesting its composer, Keeble, has assimilated Coltrane, Rollins and Brecker into his sound. 

Finn, Keeble and Grainger have played the standards many times, not least at jam sessions. To place familiar tunes alongside less familiar original compositions is a good idea as it enables the listener to engage in a 'compare and contrast' exercise. The timeless numbers - Night and Day (Keeble particularly impressive), There Will Never be Another YouTangerine - are shown due respect which should make the listener all the more inclined to show due respect to the trio's accomplished compositions.

Northern Perspective will be available on Bandcamp from November 1. The Abbie Finn Trio will be at Prohibition Bar, Newcastle on October 29 and at Newcastle Jazz Co-op's Globe HQ on November 22. The Globe concert, with a socially distanced audience in attendance, will be live streamed to a worldwide audience. Northern Perspective was engineered, mixed and mastered by Adam Sinclair,  the CD cover artwork is by Abbie Finn and Lisa Keeble, photography by Carlo Viglianisi and Malcolm Sinclair. Copies of the CD will be available at both gigs.
Russell              

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