Gwilym Simcock -\\- BLUES VIGNETTE – [Basho Records, 2009]
Until the arrival of “Blues Vignette,” was placed in my hands I had no earthly idea who this twenty-eight year old British pianist named Gwilym Simcock was.
“Little People” the opener, is lyrically fascinating and elegantly expressed by the imaginative play of pianist Gwilym Simcock. His imposing presence, style and arrangements are brilliantly executed on the impending suite titled “Improvisation I, II, & III.” The lush tempo of this trilogy is perfectly matched to the exquisite nuances of “Caldera” followed by the energetic “Jaco and Joe” will indeed amaze music enthusiasts globally.
By the end of the Disc 1, Simcock calls upon the gifted and classically trained cellist Cara Berridge to expand her transcending voice on the stimulating yet dramatic underlying theme of “Suite for Cello and Piano.” For a moment, while listening it occurred to me how I was forced to endure classical music “101” during my school days while in middle and high school. Funny thing, after all these years the remnants of this music finally manifested in away I can comfortably embrace what was once thought boring is now a revelation of classical and jazz infused into one unforgettable silhouette of sounds.
“Introduction” is the opening track on Disc 2. While seemingly understated, the lingering tones from the previous disc appear to trickle through as a sequel in harmony to shape the integral voice of classically trained bassist & cellist from Russian – Yuri Goloubev in concert with pianist Simcock connects seamlessly as one. Soon thereafter, their marvelous interplay forges through with shifting patterns and unrefined motion the trio intercedes to strategically unveil the complex “Tundra” for the next seven unwavering minutes.
The in depth of tones and textures of “BLUES VIGNETTE,” are impeccably explored by these phenomenal musicians. In essence, the groove of “Vignette” is shaped with bending notes, colors and implosive gestures burst forward into a effervescent collage of familiar melodies driven by their engaging voices.
Compositionally, Simcock’s vision entails a flood of complex components twisted together in symphonic harmony on this inescapable voyage. Therefore, as a group they are called to masterfully articulate this template with sense of optimism. At this juncture, they unite to explore the sobering qualities in a suite of intriguing melodies with the invasion of “Black Coffee, Longing to Be and Nice Work if You Can Get It” all are beautifully appointed to enhance their amazing ability to accomplish this array of blissful melodies through their harmonic voices to swap ideas, textures, colors and rhythms flawlessly.
In the meantime, the elegant yet tranquil interpretation of “Cry Me a River,” is gracefully navigated by the remarkable touch of Simcock on keys in the seventh spot also features his incomparable sidekicks Goloubev and drummer Maddren from the U.K.
The closing piece, “1981” surpasses expectations to finish the session with impressive dexterity and prowess as eloquently illustrated throughout this breathtaking recording by pianist Gwilym Simcock and friends.
No doubt, “BLUES VIGNETTE” is exactly what the doctor ordered. At least for me, that is. At a young age, pianist Gwilym Simcock has quickly established a name for himself in Great Britain with numerous awards in 2005 as the first “BBC Radio 3 New Generation” jazz artist. He was also voted “Jazz Musician of the Year” at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards. These awards are mere imprints of what’s yet to come from this amazing young talent.
Gwilym Simcock – Piano
Yuri Goloubev – Double Bass
James Maddren – Drums
At your leisure, visit http://www.gwilymsimcock.com for additional information about the artist.