Records - Fraud (3 stars)


Fraud (The Babel Label)


Fraud are making considerable waves on the more experimental end of the London jazz scene at the moment, and have clearly won some influential backers, as this debut album was nominated for album of the year at the BBC Jazz Awards even before it was released (saxophonist James Allsopp is also up for the Rising Star award, the results of which will be announced on 12 July).

On disc, the music still sounds like a work-in-progress. Allsopp and Tim Giles on drums and electronics are the principal movers, supplemented by keyboards, guitar and a second drummer, but no bassist. They are in the Acoustic Ladyland/Led Bib school, where raucous free jazz blowing crashes headlong into funk and rock, but it’s not all manic action. Their music is hauntingly delicate at times, and they work hard at creating a varied and intriguing tonal palette from their instrumental resources.

(Kenny Mathieson)

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