1. I Wish
2. Looking Up
3. Moving On
5. Quiet Song
7. All Good Things
8. It is How it Is
John Martin - Tenor sax, soprano sax
Jonjo Grisdale - Piano
Tim Fairhall - Double bass
Andy Ball - Drums
Recorded in Antesuono Studios, Udine, Italy.
John Martin and Jonjo Grisdale are both graduates of Middlesex University and, for all I know, Fairhill and Ball may be from that educational establishment. If they are all products from Middlesex then the music department of that university has a lot going for it. These young men are certain to have a place in the development of jazz in the UK. I understand that they have a background in so-called World Music, but they spare us from that here; this is a pure jazz album.
The recording which was made in Italy is of excellent quality, making the most of the lyrical talents of both Martin and Grisdale. It may be a bit pretentious at times, but that may just be down to youthful enthusiasm. My concern with albums that are all original material is that there are remarkably few jazz enthusiasts out there and they don't all like all types of jazz .The result of this is that a very small market becomes a minute market if your appeal is limited to one sector. Unfortunately the university environment is all about composition, complex chord sequences, complicated time signatures and music that is often ethereal. The market, however, has the opposite view and it likes its music accessible. These guys are very good and they deserve to make a good living; a bit of marketing savvy is needed if they are going to do that.
I enjoyed all the tracks, but Swagger gets my vote as the best track on the album: everybody excels themselves here. This is a very fine album by a group of young musicians, whom I fully expect to hear more of in the future.