Tim Garland - Libra
The centrepiece of this multi-faceted and hugely impressive double set is the saxophonist’s four-piece suite Frontier, written for his Lighthouse Trio (with pianist Gwilym Simcock and percussionist Asaf Sirkis), plus the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and an additional wind section of distinguished jazz players. His writing for all these elements is excellent, and the playing superb. Three more Garland compositions for the trio fill disc one, with New York-based guitarist Paul Bollenback added on two of them.
The second disc is a series of live performances by the trio, augmented by the Sacconi Strings on ‘Darkhouse’, and one more studio cut with Bollenback, a version of Mingus’s ‘Nostalgia in Times Square’ (the other non-Garland tunes are Miles Davis’s ‘Blue in Green’ and Kenny Wheeler’s ‘Sly Eyes’). Garland is consistently original and inventive on saxophones and bass clarinet, matched by Simcock’s compelling pianism and Sirkis’s rhythmic acumen and unconventional percussive colours.