Russell, Ray - A Table Near The Band

SKU 15-SJPCD 258
“In 1988, guitarist/composer Ray Russell climbed onto the Montreux Jazz Festival stage with a crack band comprised of rhythm team Mo Foster and Simon Phillips, trumpeter Stuart Brooks, and keyboardists Tommy Eyre and Tony Hymas. The success of their show convinced Russell to capture this unit for posterity, and bolstered by saxophonists Iain Ballamy and Tony Roberts, the group entered the studio. A Table Near the Band was the result, a set originally released in 1989 and now reissued by Angel Air. Within, the group laid down seven pieces in a range of fusion styles, but all given the cinematic sheen that today is Russell's trademark. "Guadeloupe" opens the set in fine style, a delightful number that swings from synth-led rock to avant-garde jazz, all spiced up by calypso-fied Latin flavors. Crossing the Atlantic, the group revisits Gil Evans' "London," with the late keyboardist helping rework his composition, blending together blues, jazz, and rock into a smoky piece that echoes of the capital's jazz club past. "Snow (A Passing Phase)" was composed by Russell for the movie Colorado, and here lightning strikes of guitar slice through a frigid vista. "Avian," in contrast, with its percolating rhythm and jazzy piano and sax, soars in and out of prog rock -- as does the rest of the set, as the musicians blur the boundaries between free-form jazz and '70s rock, with the set ending with the title track's exploration of pure avant-garde jazz. The musicianship is as high caliber as one would expect, and the pieces' shifting moods and styles keep listeners' attention riveted. A thoroughly enjoyable set.”-AllMusic
  • LabelAngel Air
  • UPC5055011702585
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