Julian Arguelles and The Frankfurt Radio Big Band - Momenta (4 stars)

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Julian Arguelles and The Frankfurt Radio Big Band - Momenta

(Basho Records)

Earlier this year the saxophonist issued the excellent Inner Voices, a multi-layered but entirely solo disc. This disc takes him to the opposite end of the jazz spectrum in a live recording with the Frankfurt Radio Bigband and guest pianist Gwilym Simcock. The saxophonist takes the lead role as soloist on both tenor and soprano, but leaves ample room for Simcock and several fine soloists from the band.

They draw on compositions from various points in his output, including the new, Spanish-tinged ‘Barcelona 1936’, the idiosyncratic ‘Skull View’, a fiery nod to Evan Parker in ‘Evan’s Freedom Pass’, the almost pastoral contours of ‘Hi Steve’ and the delicious ‘Mish Mash’. He sidesteps all the conventional clichés of big band writing and arranging, and the Frankfurt musicians revel in the shifting moods and colours.

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