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David Gordon Trio
Angel Feet

The David Gordon Trio - David Gordon (piano), Ole Rasmussen (bass), Paul Cavaciuti (drums)
Recorded at Chapel Lane Studio, Hereford, December 2002
ZAH ZAH ZZCD 9819 [57.28]



Angel feet
The Alchemist and the Catflap
English Isobars
I Remember You
Bebop Tango
Francesco’s Rhumba
Pavanne Tombeau
Snakes and Ladders
Good Morning Heartache

The David Gordon trio is a long-established and highly fluent group, strong on soloistic verve, compositional excellence and corporate dynamism. Their influences are diverse – the notes talk of acoustic grooves, Celtic folk and baroque music – but that, I think, is to make the trio sound more fragmented and incoherent than is actually the case. Certainly there are elements of those influences here but the skill is to fuse and coalesce them seamlessly.

A number of the songs are originals though there are a few standards here as well – I Remember You and Good Morning Heartache – and the title track gives notice of the tightly swinging direction the trio takes. The Alchemist and the Catflap, surely the only portrait of Sir Isaac Newton in jazz, is a busy and dramatic workout, teeming with brainy material, whilst English Isobars is a more impressionistic and spare piece that verges close to the Great American Songbook in its lyric strength. Bass player Ole Rasmussen shows some finely nuanced playing, Paul Cavaciuti shines behind the drums and leader Gordon is infectiously accomplished – strong on accents and rhythm and developing quite a head of steam.

His piano intro on I Remember You is teasing in the way Errol Garner’s used to be teasing but things are even better on Bebop Tango, a real scorcher of a performance with some splendidly subtle gestures amidst the occasionally raucous material – note for example when Rasmussen takes over the melodic role. That Latin Americana is carried over to Francesco’s Rhumba and there’s plenty of bite and sap in Snakes and Ladders, another original.

Splendidly recorded this is a consistently stimulating programme from a go-ahead and imaginative trio; they take care of the heritage of the music as well as summoning up something new minted.

Jonathan Woolf

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