Hannes Riepler - The Brave
Austrian guitarist's debut album as player and composer
Austrian guitarist Hannes Riepler has been resident in London for half a dozen years now, and first caught my attention as a sideman with the Andre Canniere Sextet. This debut album as leader makes a strong case for his abilities as both player and composer. He has a good ear for bright melodies and spacious, open-but-disciplined structures that retain their coherence while allowing room for improvisation. His own playing is tight and thoughtful rather than flashy, and his fine band includes inventive saxophonist Tom Challenger and rising star Kit Downes on piano. Nothing earth-shattering, but a promising debut.