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



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ES2

Algorhythms

Twin Rivers (no number)

 

 

1. Orange Peel

2. Job Search

3. Poor as Food

4. Swanky Goes Shopping

5. Our Man in Verona

6. Midnight, Michigan Avenue

7. Swanky Goes Uptown

8. At Long Last

 

Eliot King Smith - Keyboards

Erick Storckman - Trombone

Cliff Lyons – Saxes

Pete McCann - Guitar

Andy Eulau - Bass

Scott Neumann - Drums.

 

I can’t say I was very impressed when I unwrapped this CD and found the list of tunes fixed to the back cover on a sticky label! Fortunately, the album was more impressive when I played it. It is mainly the brainchild of keyboardist Eliot King Smith and trombonist Erick Storckman. Their initials account for the group being called ES2. Smith wrote four of the tracks, Storckman composed two of them, and the other two were written jointly by the two leaders.

Unlike many modern albums, the tunes on this CD are all immediately accessible – but varied at the same time. The variety is magnified by the different styles of the musicians – notably guitarist Pete McCann, whose sound is the sort of muscular tone you might expect in a rock band. He supplies some fine solos, as does keyboardist Eliot Smith and saxist Cliff Lyons, who play in a more conventional jazz style. The bassist and drummer provide a strong backing. Sadly, trombonist Storckman seems to be the weakest soloist in the band, with several fluffed notes.

Many of the tunes are in jazz-funk style but their melodic appeal dispels any possibility of sameness. This is not a great album, and it lasts for less than 47 minutes. But it is clearly recorded and makes for pleasant and diverse listening, even though it is let down by the packaging.

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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