John Warren - Following On (4 stars)

John Warren - Following On

(Fuzzy Moon Records)

As the title suggests, this album is drawn from the same 2008 recording session that yielded the excellent Finally Beginning last year, and is every bit as impressive. Like its predecessor, it features Warren’s original compositions alongside his arrangement of a Thelonious Monk classic (‘Eronel’ in this instance). The writing is excellent, and the music is superbly performed by a nine-piece ensemble featuring some top players from the UK scene.

They include Martin Shaw and Mark Nightingale in the brass section, Stan Sulzmann and Julian Siegel in the reeds, vibes player Jim Hart and pianist Gwilym Simcock. A Canadian long-term resident in England, Warren has devoted a lot of his time and energy to education, and is far from a household name even in fairly knowledgeable jazz circles, but these two albums from composer Issie Barrett’s commendable record label will surely restore the credit he deserves as a gifted composer and bandleader.

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