Return to the Fire Tim Garland Edition/Planet (vinyl and digital only)
This six-track album from British saxophonist Tim Garland marks the reunion of the original British band that recorded Enter the Fire in 1997. Garland has performed internationally, occasionally with legendary pianist-composer Chick Corea, a continuing collaborator. None of the previous album tracks are repeated here but four of the numbers are Garland originals with the title song, a post-bop theme, taken at the liveliest tempo with driving solos from pianist Jason Rebello, Gerard Presencer on trumpet and Garland’s fast-leaping tenor. Taken at a slower pace the classic ballad Lament, by trombonist JJ Johnson is a deliciously unhurried piece with an extended lyrical passage from Garland’s soprano sax and sympathetic piano backing. Garland plays soprano on his composition Valse for Ravel, where the theme features trumpet and soprano in a semiclassical duo with piano. Long considered a foremost performer on bass clarinet, Garland takes up that instrument for another original, All Our Summers, executing some ingenious counterpoint with Ant Law’s guitar, plus Rebello’s propulsive contributions on Fender Rhodes. McCoy Tyner’s Search for Peace receives the ballad treatment it warrants with all the virtues of the swing and ethos of the sort of acoustic quintet celebrated in the Miles Davis bands, again with the fitting solo work of Garland’s tenor. In many ways this album pays homage to a potent time in jazz history with the classic sound of a sax and trumpet jazz quintet of yesteryear presented and updated by some of Britain’s top-flight musicians.