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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tim Daisy - Streets In Time (Relay Recordings, 2013) ***½

Reviewed by Joe

Great to see a Tim Daisy album, one of the best drummers around (in my humble opinion). This is not the first record that Tim has produced under his name, if I understand correctly it's number seven in the Relay Recordings series - check out Tim's website to see the other recordings, often duo projects, but not all. On this album Tim has chosen a strong team of players; Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet), Steve Swell (trombone) and John Herbert (bass), all top performers on their instruments and well known throughout the modern music world as leaders in their own right. It's also an unusual combination with two brass for a front line, but it works very well.

Since we didn't get any information on the recording I can't say who wrote the six tunes on the CD, however they're all fine pieces with plenty of scope. The music falls into the free/composed sector, groups such as Vandermark 5, The Engines, Atomic, Motif and others are all proponents of this style where clear melodic structures are used and fused with free improvised techniques. Out of the six tunes on the record only two "Come to Rest" and "Giving Back" are out of tempo, the others all find a groove at some point and often some chord structure or ostinato figure. 

"Loud Noon", the first track uses a bass figure similar to the one used in "Night in Tunisia" to underpin the melody. It then builds a fine swinging atmosphere built on a non resolved chord which launches the two front line brass players. "Come to Rest"(tk2) is a cleverly placed impro' which segues into the title track "Streets in Time"(tk3). This artfully built piece has several subtle ideas which allow the two horns to develop solos. The first over a fine improvised cornet/drums duel. The two are gradually joined in the all out melodic 'ruckus' finally giving over to the trombone to develop a more harmonic area.

Tim Daisy uses his musicians to great effect by giving them plenty of space to express themselves. On "Inside A Room"(tk4) he lets the music unfold carefully over the eleven minutes, giving space for a bass solo, a quartet dialogue section, a trombone/bass/drums fight, a cornet/bass/drum dance, a drum solo and a final melody with bass, cornet and trombone playing peacefully over the soloing drums. 

The last two tunes are equally exciting as the earlier pieces. The open improvisation and gentle theme of "Giving Back"(tk5) and the wonderfully strong bass solo which opens "Distance"(tk6) shows how strong this group of players are, all are able to swing or throw caution to the wind and abandon structures as needed. The rhythm section always attentive to move in any direction whilst the 'blowers' give plenty of ideas for their team-mates to work with.  

The whole album works perfectly with no low points and never a dull moment. The recording quality is also a plus, fine attention to detail from each instrument goes to make this album a great listen. All the players hand in stellar performances, as one would expect. If you enjoy plenty of swing, melody and quirky music you'll definitely find it here.

A tag musically could be Elton Dean's Ninesense.... minus five musicians, naturally!    


premo said...

Downloaded this just this morning. Really enjoying it.

joesh said...

Hi Premo

Glad to see someone's onto this one.

If you enjoy this you should look around for some other Tim Daisy groups, there's some excellent stuff out there. The Engines is very good, you could try either "Brass and Wire" or the last one. I'd also look up the Aram Shelton albums, I think he made two with Daisy. They're very swinging and fresh!

premo said...

Thanks for the tips! Dave Rempis just started his new label at with 2 releases.

joesh said...

Thanks for the tip, Dave's another favourite of mine.

If anybody (passing by) doesn't know the website, check it out as it's a very nice site to look round. Excellent presentation.

I guess I'll just have to buy some of their cds also!