CD Reviews

Music on the Web (UK)

Webmaster: Len Mullenger

[ Jazz index ] [Nostalgia index]  [ Classical MusicWeb ] [ Gerard Hoffnung ]

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

AmazonUK   AmazonUS


Six by Six

Keywork KWRCD 008






1. Big Hitter
2. Earth Scene (Part I)
3. Dr Jones Will Never Believe This
4. Protective Memory
5. Rostov
6. Crook Sludge
7. Across The Universe
8. Earth Scene (Part II)
Paul Towndrow - Alto sax, soprano sax, flute
Tom MacNiven Ė Trumpet, flugelhorn
Konrad Wiszniewski - Tenor sax
Steve Hamilton - Piano
Alyn Cosker Ė Drums
Michael Janisch - Bass

According to Paul Towndrowís sleeve-note, this album was recorded with the help of a borrowed generator in six hours during a power cut. But this band could generate enough power to keep the National Grid running for days. Towndrow is a young Scottish saxophonist whose previous album, Out of Town, consolidated his position as a dynamic and exciting musician. Paul wrote all but one of the tunes on this album. Most of his compositions arenít the sort of thing youíll whistle on your way to work: itís the energy and commitment of his band that strikes you most.

The only non-original on the CD, the Beatlesí Across the Universe, is readily recognisable but played in a style that recalls the freedom of John Coltrane, with Paulís saxophone swirling around, above an equally mobile backing provided by the rhythm section. Things calm down for Steve Hamiltonís lyrical piano solo. Steveís playing on this album is one of its major attractions, as is the unstoppable drumming of the extraordinary Alyn Cosker.

Paul Towndrow admits to the influence of fellow Scots saxist Tommy Smith but Paul is seldom as laid-back as Tommy can be. With Alyn Coskerís seemingly tireless drums keeping the temperature high, most tracks are extrovert and forceful. Protective Memory offers the one gentler moment with a ballad featuring Tom MacNivenís poignant trumpet (or flugelhorn) and Michael Janischís expressive double bass. Crook Sludge is distinguished by its rhythm, which is the sort of thing you might hear from a New Orleans marching band (or even Wynton Marsalisís representation of the same). This and Across the Universe are the most accessible tracks on the album, because of the familiar reference points. But every track captures the listener through daring and imagination.

Paul Towndrow is going to be big, and deservedly so. I have only a couple of suggestions for the next album. First, Paul might try smiling in the cover photo, as thereís surely no need to look so fierce. And secondly, please print the sleeve notes for the next album in a more readable form than brownish red on a black background!

Tony Augarde


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Northern Flowers
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Return to Index

Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers: