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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Falling Up




1. Tip tap toe [7:16]; 2. None. Half. All [5:22]; 3. Eastern bell feel [7:53]; 4. The Cosmonaut [6:00]; 5. In ran Roy [7:02]; 6. Mahdernism [6:01]; 7. Crescent City ditty [7:56]; 8. Don't hold your breath [5:32]

Evan Cobb (tenor saxophone), Matt White (trumpet), Bruce Dudley (piano), Jonathan Wires (bass), Joshua Hunt (drums) with Jeff Coffin (tenor saxophone) on tracks 6&7.
Total time: [53:06]
Recorded: May 9th & 10th, 2011 by Brendan Harkin at Wildwood Studios, Franklin, Tennessee, USA


I love my job reviewing discs for MusicWeb! When you're fortunate enough to receive discs like this it really is a dream job. I haven't yet been able to determine whether this is Evan Cobb's first release or not but have emailed him to try and get some information about him and the rest of the musicians about whom there is nothing on the disc, including track times or record label info, just in case anyone thinks they're my sins of omission! (Email since answered hence the inclusion of the track times above). That said the disc is simply fabulous with a set of original compositions that are so good you're sure you've heard them before which I always feel is an indication of how successful a tune is. All the musicians are uniformly excellent and I can't pay them a higher compliment than to say they sound like black musicians - I hope you understand what I mean by that. They have "soul" that is so often missing in white jazzmen who can sound more "clinically academic", whilst these sound integral to the music; nay, they are the music! The disc begins with a stonking tune Tip tap toe that grabs you right from the start and doesn't let go but leaves you wanting more. Piano is joined by bass then sax and trumpet enter and within 30 seconds we are taken on an exciting journey with a tune it'd be great to dance to and when Evan's first solo comes the foundations have already been laid and his soaring horn is expertly backed by Bruce Dudley's piano and the rhythm section with the piano picking up the baton with a wonderfully lyrical section and then in comes Matt White's superb, faultless trumpet solo that winds its way up and down the scale, followed by Jonathan Wire's exciting, deeply resonating bass lines. The tune finally comes full circle in the most musically satisfying way to end as it began. Tip tap toe is one of those tunes that will worm its way in and play itself over and over again on a loop in your mind. The exhilarating pace continues with None. Half. All an equally exciting and brilliantly inventive tune that once again each musician shares in equal measure producing a highly satisfying collective offering that also contains a really catchy hook that'll also imbed itself in the subconscious. Evan Cobb's solo in Eastern bell feel shows his prowess perfectly as his sax soars once more before Dudley's piano takes over in a great solo section at high speed reminiscent of so many piano playing greats, Matt White's trumpet then enters for another great solo that carries the tune through to its finale. All the tunes are great and Evan Cobb is quite obviously an extremely talented composer of true originality. Other highlights include Mahdernism with another extremely infectious main theme in which Evan is joined by another saxophonist in the shape of Jeff Coffin and both have a ball playing alongside each other as they also do in Crescent City ditty. The disc is rounded off with a beautifully lyrical tune Don't hold your breath in which the pace is relaxed and laid back and each musician is given equal opportunity to shine as has been the case throughout; Evan Cobb is an extremely democratic composer in this respect. I have relished the chance of reviewing this disc and will be eagerly looking out for others from this highly talented saxophonist/composer. Highly recommended.

Steve Arloff

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