Raphael Imbert Trio - N_Y Project
Saxophonist Raphael Imbert is a new name to me, although Scottish audiences will get a chance to check him out first hand when he plays in Edinburgh at the end of the month. His previous work includes a project combining the music of Bach and John Coltrane, so a degree of eclecticism comes as a bit of a given. Coltrane is evoked again here in a meditative version of his ‘Central Park West’ that closes the disc.
Imbert also nods directly to Duke Ellington on the other non-original composition, a bustling arrangement of ‘Echoes of Harlem’, and more indirectly to Albert Ayler and John Zorn. His own compositions stand up well, and his playing on soprano, alto and tenor is strong and resourceful, whether in frantic full flight or gentle reflection. He is supported by an excellent NY-based rhythm team of Joe Martin on bass and drummer Gerald Cleaver.