Quite often the first play for an album is on a weekend, doing the chores: “Good for doing the ironing to” never seems much of a recommendation and has never figured until now.
But this new jazz album from the Dave Ingham Group is such a beast; really good for doing the ironing to, or any other tedious job when you need music in which you can lose yourself; the album has a strong groove while being chilled out. It’s been a beggar to review as we are repeatedly transported in its delights and forget to write. Seriously, six plays to write these 400 words.
In comparison to the recent Emil Ingmar album, Ingham is a harder form of jazz, definitely in the bop camp, though after an initial bout of a harder sound it becomes more laid back.
Opener Upstream is well paced, with lots of sax, the crisp and clean drums skipping but the bass solid. It’s textured like the stream it presumably describes; the percussion at one point resembles shells or stones being rolled by water. There are echoes of John Coltrane.
Straw Dogs is slower and bluesier, and gives double bassist Vilem Hais chance to show his chops; after the initial burst of energy the album is now more meditative and while clearly jazz, not world, has something of the repetitive music of foreign lands used to get people into a religious trance, such as gwana.
The title track is nine minutes long, a slow but hypnotic piece that’s always the point where we get lost in the music. Maaaan. Stephen Mynott throws in a complex guitar solo on this one, a bit late night George Benson in sound. Some backwards guitar is also apparent (we think the tremolo arm gets a workout in one place, too), and Ingham’s saxes get a work out, too. Mynott gets some work on Hometown Blues, a more conventional jazz sound; again a slow and meditative track.
The album ends with the faster and harder Race To The Sun, waking the listener up as the programme comes to an end.
As impressive as the music: despite the tight sound and feeling of a band working as one, the rhythm tracks were recorded in one studio; sax and flute in another.
This is a good album, somewhere between having a groove and being trance-like, but very English; the watery title, suggestive of being gently lapped by a warm ocean or lying by a babbling brook, is apt.
The band’s revenue will have been hit by the pandemic: buy this at davidingham.co.uk