Aquarium - Aquarium (3 stars)

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Aquarium - Aquarium

(Babel)

A strong debut from pianist’s Sam Leak’s quartet, another genre-mixing contemporary outfit from the London jazz scene. His opening tune, ‘Strangers’, evokes both lyrical jazz and the rhythmic pulse of minimalism, ‘Grasshopper’ expands from an initial funk feel into freewheeling post-bop, and ‘Evensong’ veers into charged free jazz territory. That diversity continues throughout the album, but there is a strong compositional integrity running through all the tunes, and the band – James Allsopp on tenor saxophone and bass clarinet, Scotland’s Calum Gourley on bass, and drummer Joshua Blackmore – respond to Leak’s writing in creative, interactive fashion.

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