Ed Jones

The Guardian - G2 - - Reviews rock, pop, world, jazz, folk -

For Your Ears Only IM­POS­SI­BLE ARK ★★★★★

Back in the 90s hey­day of Bri­tain’s acid-jazz move­ment, a hot young sax­o­phon­ist called Ed Jones shared pole po­si­tion with new horn he­roes Court­ney Pine and Andy Shep­pard – but Jones pre­ferred the cre­ative side­lines (en­hanc­ing rap/soul/jazz out­fits such as Us3 and Incog­nito, among oth­ers) and has flour­ished ever since in settings from free-im­prov to swing. This is the al­bum de­but of his fine, seven-year-old quar­tet – cre­atively re­lated to mid­pe­riod Coltrane, 70s Mccoy Tyner and the pen­sively pen­e­trat­ing work of his big­gest in­spi­ra­tion, Wayne Shorter. He’s tersely telling on so­prano sax on the Tyneresque Latin groove No­madol­ogy, gran­ite-firm on the mid-tempo tenor swinger Pan­dora’s Box, and close to Shorter’s cryp­tic tenor-sax poetry and wrig­gly eva­sions on the smoky, puls­ing Marielyst. Star­bright – an ex­quis­ite vapour-trail for del­i­cate singer Brigitte Ber­aha – is at times har­mon­i­cally rem­i­nis­cent of the Stan Tracey clas­sic Star­less and Bi­ble Black. A largely post­bop­pish set ends in free-im­prov, a bold turn­around only to be an­tic­i­pated from a free­wheel­ing band such as this. JF

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