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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove

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Big Man Down

K-Pasta KPCD 120




2. The Mouse and the Clock
3. Snip’s Blues
4. Never Have to Ask
5. Filibuster
6. With Providence
7. Big Man Down
8. Verdadero

Roy Dunlap – Piano
Marcus Parsley – Trumpet
Alex Mincek – Tenor
Jeff Hanley – Bass
Bill Campbell – Drums 
Recorded Brooklyn NY 2007

This record starts with a great track called Brawlex, which features everyone in the band. All are excellent soloists and it made for a very happy and musical sound. "This is for me", I thought, but then I heard track two which is called The Mouse and the Clock and it sounded like background music for a nightmare movie! 

Fortunately Snip’s Blues took me away from the nightmare and into the real world of good swinging jazz, from this very talented bunch of musicians. Roy Dunlap is a very impressive pianist and composer; all the tracks on the album are his compositions. Who is the phantom guitarist? He does not receive any credits, but he is another fine talent! Alex Mincek is a fine tenor sax player, who unfortunately has a penchant for slipping off into the weird sounds business at times. 

I was very impressed with the precision with which this quite complex music is played; these guys certainly know how to get round their instruments. If you read the sleeve note, however, they have all played with the very best and therefore collectively they are the very best, so I should not be surprised. 

I am writing this review whilst listening to the record and therefore I am able to comment on the tracks as I hear them. The playing on Filibuster is again exciting; drummer Bill Campbell drives everything along and he too is a major contributor to each track. With Providence is an attractive ballad, with a sad kind of melody reminiscent of many songs from the Great American Song Book. Roy’s piano playing is very expressive and the work of Marcus Parsley on trumpet is first class. 

Jeff Hanley’s double bass leads us into Big Man Down; he like everyone in this band is an important voice. The track, however, was not to my taste, back to nightmare time! 

The Latin groove of Verdadero is very much to my liking and overall this is an interesting album, played by a group of musicians out of the top drawer of jazz performers. I only hope that the ratio of impressive to nightmare does not move in the black direction! These guys are too good to waste their time on that stuff!  

Don Mather





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