This collection of songs retains some true grit and jazz light and shade, yet steers clear of the miasmic mists that afflict the jazz vocal recordings at the other end of the spectrum.
One of the aspects I have always enjoyed in Wilson’s music is his impressionistic side – even though a player who resonates with the deep history of the art form, he never baulks at going where the music takes him, whether an un-jazz place or not.
” This year’s Festival program was put together smartly by Jazzgroove to get all the flavours of jazz rubbing up against each other and to pleasantly jolt by contrast.”
It is a delight to hear Jeremy Rose back in the arms of (almost) straight-ahead Jazz – an added delight is to hear him rocking so sweet and heavy in those arms.
“Gary Daley has, across Sanctuary, gone for the primal and the spiritual – the earthy and the ephemeral – in almost equal balance.”
Yet, despite the expanded palette of harmonies and timbres afforded by the larger band, Willis keeps a firm hand on the tiller throughout – his characteristic minimalistic and repetitive touches are all here, as well as the timbral and melodic surprises which playfully dent and scratch the sheen of his music.
“The sinewy energy of this piano-less format winds the bristling tension up to cracking point on the more free-jazz passages. It is leavened with chill riffs from the classic tenor-trumpet hard-bop front line, and deep soul grooves underneath it all”.
The binding quality of Ellen Kirkwood’s music and her collaborations is that is consistently has one foot firmly in jazz and the other trailing in the waters of a tangy broth of blues, rock, gypsy swing, klezmer, reggae and you-name-it.
Multi-instrumentalist Paul Cutlan has always had a spiritual halo around his music.
Sandy Evans’ playing across the album is unique and spiritedly human, which is what we have come to expect from her. Her questing nature and driven desire to consistently move out of the confines of Jazz has shown her to be an artist going for a universal sound.