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Reviewers: Don Mather, Marc Bridle, Ian Lace, Peter Woolf, Colin Clarke

Cape Town Blues
Naxos Jazz 86052-2


  1. Forged Visa - Valery Ponomarev
  2. Animated - Tim Armacost
  3. Down the Back of the Garden - Adrian Mears
  4. For the Sound of the Ocean - Rick Hollander
  5. Valery's Changes - Valery Ponomerev
  6. The Middleman - Adrian Mears
  7. Commandments from a Higher Authority - Valery Ponomarev
  8. Special Delivery - Tim Armacost
  9. Between the Road and Home - Adrian Mears
  10. Cape Town Blues - Tim Armacost

Martin Zenker - Leader - Bass, Valery Ponomarev - Trumpet, Tim Armacost - Tenor Sax, Adrian Mears - Trombone, Bernhard Pichl - Piano, Rick Hollander - Drums Recorded 23 October 1999, Zurich, Switzerland. Total Time = 68:53

UGETSU had been together for three years when this record was made and the album gives you the feeling of a group on top of their form, who are enjoying their work together. This was the first time I had heard them, the only one of them previously known to me was Valery Ponomarev, who I had heard previously with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, he was with them from 1976 to 1980. Ponomarev escaped from Russia to the West in 1973, he is a great asset to UGETSU both as a Trumpet player and composer.

The other Front Line player are Tim Armacost on Tenor , who is a veteran of bands led by Randy Brecker and Paquito d'Revera and Adrian Mears a Trombone player who comes from Australia but lives in Switzerland. The ensemble sound is full, warm and precise and all are interesting soloists.

Bernhhard Pichl on Piano and Rick Hollander on Drums complete the rhythm section. Like the leader Bassist Martin Zenker, Bernhard Pichl is a product of the Bavarian Youth Jazz Orchestra. Drummer Rick Hollander is a revelation, he swings the band, keeps great time and ranks with the very best.

The compositions are all originals by members of the Band and each is well worth its place on the album, I enjoyed every track. If Art Blakey were still alive, the band would have probably moved on and be sounding like this one, what more can you say in praise of a band you have not heard before!

This is a very good record.


Don Mather

Don Mather is a Saxophone Player and Bandleader based in Coventry

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