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Reviewers: Don Mather,Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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TONY KOFI

Future Passed

Specific Jazz SPEC 004

 

 

 
1. The Journey
2. Suibokuga
3. Zambia
4. A Song for Pappa Jack
5. As We Speak
6. Blue Pavel
7. The Eternal Thinker
8. Jubilation (for Bod)
9. Brotherhood
10. April the 13th
11. This Dream of Mine (for MJ)
12. We Out
Tony Kofi – Alto, soprano and baritone saxes
Anders Olinder – B3 Hammond organ
Robert Fordjour – Drums
Byron Wallen (tracks 1, 3 and 4) – Trumpet
Cameron Pierre (tracks 5, 8-10) – Guitar
Donald Gamble (tracks 3 and 8) – Percussion

Following Tony Kofi’s last album All Is Know, which consisted entirely of Thelonious Monk tunes, and his marathon concert where he played all 70 of Monk’s compositions, you might not expect his new CD to have the format of an organ trio. But then Kofi excels in the unexpected, as his career has included playing with all kinds of groups and musicians – from the Jazz Warriors to Julian Joseph’s big band, and from Donald Byrd to Lonnie Smith. Lonnie Smith’s expertise on the Hammond organ so intrigued Kofi that he formed this trio with Swedish organist Anders Olinder, although it hardly sounds like a conventional organ trio.

Sure, there are funky workouts like As We Speak and Blue Pavel but the dozen Kofi compositions on this CD also encompass the African rhythms of Zambia, gentle ballads like A Song for Pappa Jack, the calypso feel of Jubilation and the boppish April the 13th. Tony Kofi also displays his adaptability by performing on three different saxophones: alternately plangent and wailing on alto, pensive on soprano and earthily resonant on baritone.

Three guests add to the variety of sound. Byron Wallen’s trumpet is wayward on The Journey but more convincing on the lyrical A Song for Pappa Jack. Guitarist Cameron Pierre contributes some clear-lined solos to his three tracks. The recording quality is good, although Anders Olinder’s Hammond tends towards fuzziness and his pedalled bass-lines are not as clear as they should be. However, this is overall a splendid album, with Tony Kofi again proving that he is one of Britain’s brightest talents – both as composer and instrumentalist.

Tony Augarde

 



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