Brassjaw - Deal With It! (4 stars)

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Brassjaw - Deal With It!

(Keywork Records)

Although the Glasgow-based quartet launched this album with a gig in Glasgow back in November, it has only recently been officially released on saxophonist Paul Towndrow’s label. The group began life as a conventional saxophone quartet, but the introduction of trumpeter Ryan Quigley when Martin Kershaw left has given them an even more distinctive sound. Quigley joined Paul Towndrow (alto sax), Konrad Wiszniewski (tenor) and Allon Beauvoisin (baritone) in a line-up that places a premium on originality and invention.

Their arrangements – Allon Beauvoisin prepared the majority of them – make consistently imaginative use of the instruments to create a rich melodic and textural interplay, with all four players taking good care of the rhythmic momentum of the music in the absence of conventional rhythm instruments. Original compositions are interspersed with fine re-workings of ‘Senor Blues’, ‘Bolivia’ and ‘Falling In Love All Over Again’, and they allow us to share in the hilarity when an attempted take of the latter went seriously astray.

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