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12,393 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 112 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (Jan. 23).

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Album review: Andy Hague's Double Standards - Release

Andy Hague (trumpet/flugelhorn); Jonathan Taylor (piano); Henrik Jensen (bass); Gwilym Jones (drums).

A Bristol based band led by trumpet player Hague who is someone who has done his homework. Not Miles or Dizzy but the wonderful land that lies somewhere in between. Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Kenny Dorham, Nat Adderley, Woody Shaw. Hague doesn't actually sound like them, he's got his own rich, fat sound, but that's the feeling that comes across on this delightful album.

There's a lyricism about his playing that's rare these days - up on Teesside, Noel Dennis has it - but there aren't many others. The ideas just flow, the tone as full as a hunter's moon, the material first rate. 

Andy Hague, the blurb informs me, has been using the name Double Standards for his quartet gigs for some years, the original idea having been to build a repertoire of less commonly played jazz standards. The programme for this album is more varied, consisting of four standards plus Nick Drake's River Man, Wayne Shorter's United, four new originals from 2020 plus two older tunes, Blue Swinga [based on Kenny Dorhams Blue Bossa] and Damon Blues, a nod to trumpeter Damon Brown.

A couple of lovely ballad performances, presumably on flugel - the tone is so rich it's not always easy to differentiate between his two horns - You go to my Head and Like Someone in Love simply exude class. One of the originals - A Reckless Majority - is reminiscent of early Herbie Hancock but there''s no need to give a track by track breakdown there's not a lemon amongst them although the latter track does have a suggestion of watermelon.

The quartet are equally superb with pianist Taylor perfectly attuned to the idiom and a penchant for quoting Swinging on a star - if it's good enough for Wardell Gray ...

Highly recommended.


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