Will Vinson - Promises (4 stars)

Will Vinson - Promises

Will Vinson is an English saxophonist residing in New York, and the line-up on this disc – his first as leader since 2004 – reflects that association. He is joined by fellow expat Orlando Le Fleming (formerly a member of Tommy Smith’s group) on bass, rising piano star Aaron Parks (worth the price of the disc himself), and guitarist Lage Lund in an excellent quintet driven by the drums of Rodney Green on all but one track, where Ari Hoenig takes over.

It is a strong band, and Vinson provides them with equally strong self-composed material to get their teeth into. His own inventive work on alto and soprano saxophone has a pleasing (and teasing) undertone of Wayne Shorter’s enigmatic unpredictability lurking beneath a direct and lyrical approach. This is smart, intelligent and hugely enjoyable contemporary jazz – look out for a live appearance with Irish guitarist Mark McKnight in Glasgow in November.

(19/8 Records)

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