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Bebop Spoken There

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Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

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13,508 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 926 of them this year alone and, so far, 90 this month (July 27).

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Album review: Joshua Cavanagh-Brierley - Joy in Bewilderment. Take Two.

Joshua Cavanagh-Brierley wins points across the board for the boldness of his ambition across the 56 minutes and 7 seconds of Joy in Bewilderment. He works the eighteen musicians at his disposal through some tremendous arrangements, sweeping across the canvas from the opening title track by the string quartet, which evokes Terence Blanchard’s  A Tale of God’s Will ( a Requiem for Katrina) in its melancholy and solemnity. By the end of the album, on You Can’t Whistle a Haircut, we are the other end of a story arc in a world of furious, joyous, escapist free jazz as if all the confusions and contradictions have been resolved.

To emphasise the continuity across the album, some tracks are natural introductions to the ones that follow. For example the opener, Joy in Bewilderment, stops suddenly and the subsequent, Brew, lifts off from there into a widescreen dance that acts as a bridge to I’ll Do as I Please. Similarly,   Forbidden Words moves through a series of landscapes with the full band, especially the brass at the opening leading into a vocal section and then a short solo piano section that leads into the solo piano of Attachment. Attachment is JC-B’s solo piano piece

The two closers: Ophelia’s Arrival and You Can’t Whistle a Haircut are both exemplars of a big band working as one. They are upbeat, urban and soulful with the latter building throughout and the band working powerfully behind a series of solos to a closing crescendo, the full hairdryer treatment.

Cavanagh-Bailey knows how to work a full band through scenes and textures using the collective as a single instrument. There are opportunities for the soloist to shine, such as Chris Potter’s building solo from a mellow start in I’ll Do as I Please and his duet with JC-B later on the same tune.

I enjoyed this album enormously.

Joshua’s website can be found HEREDave Sayer

Available July 16 on Ubuntu-UBU0084 - Details.

Gavin Hibberd   (trumpet); Sam Healey (alto sax); Kyran Matthews, Chris Potter  (tenor sax); Anthony Brown (baritone sax); Ellie Whitley, Rich McVeigh, (trombones); Caoilfhionn Rose (vocals); Daniel Brew (guitar); Daniel Wellins (piano/ keys); Joshua Cavanagh-Brierley (electric bass/double bass/piano); Alan Taylor,    Grant Kershaw, Craig Hanson  (drums) + The Amika Quartet: Simmy Singh, Laura Senuor  (violins);  Lucy Nolan (viola); Peggy Nolan  (cello).

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