Paul Towndrow - Newology (4 stars)

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Paul Towndrow - Newology

Scottish saxophonist Paul Towndrow’s fourth album is his strongest yet – and he managed to get through recording it without the storm-induced power cut that afflicted its predecessor. The opening track, ‘Heroes in Transit’, is a tribute to the great jazz saxophonists, and the alto saxophonist has clearly absorbed influences ranging from Charlie Parker through to Ornette Coleman and beyond. He has developed his own signature in the process, and is an increasingly fluent and inventive improviser.

Both his fiery, highly energised playing and his maturing writing style are amply showcased in seven new compositions featured here, augmented by trumpeter Ryan Quigley’s poignant ballad, ‘The One’. As well as Quigley, an excellent band also features both Paul Harrison and Steve Hamilton on piano or Fender Rhodes, Mike Walker’s imaginative guitar work, and the propulsive drumming of Alyn Cosker, with Mark Hodgson on bass. Available from www.paultowndrow.com

(Keywork Records)

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