There are – officially – three types of jazz, which is a style of music that attracts adherents as dedicated to the cause as Smiths fans.
These are : (i) New Orleans / Dixieland / trad, which has tunes and melody, can sometimes reference hymns, features men with umbrellas, and is fun; (ii) Clint Eastwood jazz, as heard in Play Misty For Me, which is not as tuneful as trad but still enjoyable, features lots of solos and is taken very seriously and (iii) the whacky arty stuff that nobody really listens to but carries bragging rights among jazzheads.
It’s largely true that well-meaning albeit talented amateurs can play (i) but you have to be really good to play (ii).
This is all just so you know that I like jazz but don’t know – or care, to be honest – about all the genres.
Ant Law’s music is in category (ii). Clint would approve.
He can play guitar really well and jazz fans will nod seriously. He’s a proper musician: a respected session man who’s so good he’s invented his own tuning system (come on Ant, that’s a bit like showing off, isn’t it?). We envy his talent.
This is his first album as a band leader, and it mainly stars him and the sax player. It’s got a relaxed feel throughout, though the guitar and sax often play in times that are at odds with the drums/bass. While the rhythm is laid-back, there’s some quite edgy playing in there. In other places it’s more chilled, almost into Bob James country.
Opener Kanda Jhati is just guitar and sax showing off, and I played it to a jazz fan who said “Pat Metheny”. I thought that was a drink. Songs like For Silver are more melodic. Enjoyable. Maybe I should open a Congleton Jazz Club. Hmmm, nice.