Reviews

ZZCD 9806 – A Rhythm Indicative – Contemporary Modern Jazz

Damon Brown – Trumpet & Gligelhorn, Christian Brewer – Alto Sax

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The Jazz Rag – September/October 1998 (Issue 52)

For his debut recording as leader, trumpeter Damon Brown used a quintet with saxophonist Andy Panayi and guests on certain titles. Brown has a pleasing tone on trumpet and uses the mellow sound of the flügelhorn to good effect on a programme of eleven titles, all originals except for the closing Bye Bye Blackbird.

Brown displays an interesting variety in his phrasing, using tonal and rhythmic devices, both theme statements and soli – this is heard to particularly good effect on Blues For JW and on the boppish (ironically titled) Swing Features where his work in the middle register is incisive and economic. The highlight to this listener is the agile phrasing on Bye Bye Blackbird – Brown tears through his solo in a melodic but rapid way that recalls Clifford Brown.

Brown’s fellow musicians are to be complimented on their roles as support and in their own right.
For a debut album A Rhythm Indicative has much to commend it.
GREG MURPHY


Crescendo

Judy’s Goat . Minnie The Minx. . Web. The Mondey’s Dream . Love Unfold . Blues for J.W. . Swing Featured . The Don . A Rhythm Indicative . It Hasn’6 Moved . Bye Bye Blackbird
Quintet: Damon Brown (trumpet, flugelhorn), Gareth Williams (piano), Geoff Gascoigne (bass), Winston Clifford (drums),  andy Panayi (reeds), Christian Brewer (alto sax), Jonathan Gee (piano).

Ten out of eleven tracks on this issue are compositions by leader/trumpet, flugel player Damon Brown (the exception being the last title, a familiar standard), and it must be acknowledged that the performances are of consistently high musical quality – polished, with solos (as you might expect from the prestigious line-ups indicated above) of interest and originality: Brown’s poised, lightly-swinging horns supply and authoritative led and thoughtful solos modes. The basic quintet is composed of vastly experienced souls, welcome in multifarious manifestations of contemporary jazz activity, stylistically a melange of boppish unisons and well-written coontrapuntal confections all performed accurately with a steady finely-swinging verve and vigour. And then, the special guests contribute a flavour of hard-bop variations.
All in all then, as impressive album debut for the enterprising jazzmanb. it there is just one aspect of this package that does concern me a tad -nothing to do with the music, just policy, ten originals by Demon  seem to create a situation of what I micht percieve as an element of anonymity. It might have been a more commercial ploy to have jazzstandards say, by Ellington, Mulligan or Kern, Proter and the like- strong melodies, finely-crafted sequences, something for the prospective investors to latch on to. There’s little amiss with the originals except perhaps their unfamiliarity. Yes, this programme is neat of tried-and-tested, shall we say, realignment of policy and preservation of such regard for musicality would wiith some flexibility (just a little clinical coolness tinctures the output here, I recon), would pay handsome future dividends for Damon and Company.
Ken Rattenbury


The Times – Showcase for a new generation – New Jazz Albums

As A showcase for a representative sample of the new established generation in UK jazz, this album, led by trumpeter
Damon Brown, is hard to beat.
In addition to his crisp, fleet trumpet it also features a susperbly cohesive core band: the pleasantly gruff saxophonist/flautist Andy Panayi, the wittils rambunctious pianist Gareth Williams and the superb rhythm team of bassist Geoff Gascoyne and drummer Winston Clifford.
With telling guests appearances from saxophonists Tim Garland and Christian Brewer and pianist Jonathan Gee, with a bag of original compositions ranging from sinuous blues and light fund to the brisk chases across neat accommodating chord eequences favoured by hard bop, this is a highly auspicious debout from one of the UD’s most versatile younger musicians.
Chris Parker

The Jazz Rag

For his debut recording as leader, truppeter Damon Brown used a quintet with saxophonist Andy Panayi and guests on certain titles. Brown has a pleasing tone on trumpet and uses the mellow sound of the flügelhorn to good effect on a programme of eleven titles, all originals except fo the closing, Byu Bye Blackbird.
Brown displays and interesting variety in his phrasing, using tonal and rhythmic devices, both theme statements and soli – this is heard to particularly good effect on Blues for J.W and on the poppish (ironically titled) Swing Features where his work in the middle register is incisive and economic. the highlight to this listener is the agile phrasing on Bye Bye Blackbird – Brown tears through his solo in a melodic but rapid way that recalls Clifford Brown.
Borwn’s fellow musicians are to be complimented on their roles as support and in their own right. For a debut album A rhythm Indicative has much to commend it.
Greg Murphy

Cadence Vol. 25 No. 3 March 1999

Another modern British group investigating the styles of the past, this time the hard bop and modal sound of the Fifties and Sixties. True, we’ve been inundated with young American musicians doing this kind of stuff in the past fifteen years but this CD is an improvement on most of that. Damon Brown and his friends play with real fire. Pieces like “Minnie The Minx” and “Web” reek of Blakez, Adderly and mid-period Coltrane vibes but at least they sound exciting. Brown himself has and impressive tone, on trumpet and flugelhorn, and so do all of his saxophonists, particularly Andy Panayi. The real standout tunes here are Blues For J.W.” and “Rhythm Indicative” the kind of funky blues lines Bobby Timmons or Nat Adderly might have written, with cool playing from Brown, preaching tenor from Tim Garland, and spirating soul from Panayi and
Christian Brewer. These may be old sounds but there’s enough freshness in them to be worth checking out.
Jerome Wilson